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Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1986;711:67-73.

Effect of exercise on obesity.


The changes in fitness and body composition which accompany physical training in people of normal weight would be very valuable in the treatment of obesity. However, one of the most marked disabilities arising from obesity is a reduced exercise tolerance, so severely obese patients are unable to perform the exercise which would bring these benefits. It has been suggested that exercise may confer benefits on the obese person by reducing voluntary food intake, or by causing a prolonged elevation of metabolic rate. There is no good evidence for these claims. Obesity is best treated by a combination of dietary restriction and exercise: the more severe the obesity the more important the diet component of treatment, but exercise becomes more important with the management of mild obesity or the prevention of obesity.

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