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Exercise Treatment of Obesity.


Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-.
2017 Aug 9.

Author information

Research Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Department of Paediatrics, National University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Ohio State University
Professor of Medicine, University of California - San Francisco, CA; Staff Physician and Chief of the Endocrine Clinic, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
Professor of Endocrinology and Director of the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford, UK
Distinguished Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Associate Chief, Endocrinology and Diabetes Division and Director, Endocrine Clinic, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Professor, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Co-Centre Head, Department of Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, London, England
Director of Clinical Research, Prince Henry's Institute, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; Consultant Endocrinologist, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Director of the Adrenal Steroid Disorders Program, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Professor of Medicine, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and the Division of Endocrinology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Executive Director, American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama; Volunteer Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Director of the Endocrine/Bone Disease Program, John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, CA; Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Professor of Medicine and Director, Strelitz Diabetes Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Professor and Chair, Department of Exercise Science, The George Washington University School of Pub-lic Health and Health Services, Washington, DC
John B. Pierce Laboratory, Yale School of Medicine, 290 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06519, E-mail:


The prevalence of overweight and obesity continues to rise globally among industrialized countries. A myriad of environmental, behavioral, physiological and genetic factors contribute to the development of human obesity; however, the common underlying feature leading to these conditions is a positive energy balance. The relative importance of excess energy intake over low energy expenditure to this imbalance is controversial. Inactivity and obesity are closely linked conditions accounting for a large burden of chronic disease and impaired function, indeed the popular press has called inactivity the “new cancer.” While there is substantial individual heterogeneity regarding weight loss responsiveness to an exercise regimen, the predominance of the data show that a combination of exercise, both aerobic and resistance, with caloric restriction is required to lose weight and maintain weight loss. This is especially important if the weight loss is to come from fat and not lean mass. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the role of exercise, with and without caloric restriction, in the prevention and treatment of obesity, preservation of lean mass during weight loss, prevention of weight regain, and optimization of health. This chapter will also address the contributions of the built environment to the onset and possible reversal of obesity at the population level.

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