Lifestyle study

There is no question that our predominantly sedentary lifestyles have made us fat. This once again is confirmed in a new analysis of the US eating patterns and activity levels and blames our sedentary lifestyle for current obesity levels.

The study from Stanford University shows that Americans are apparently not eating any more than they have over the last 20 years, but what has changed is their predominantly desk based jobs, sedentary lives and lack of exercise.

The researchers studied data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. The data showed that between 1988 and 2010, the calorie intake of the population has not increased, based on overall total daily calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein consumption.

What has changed, however are exercise levels particularly for women. In 1988, 19% of adult US women said they weren’t involved in any physical activity, but by 2010 that had risen to 52%. The figures for men were 11%, rising to 44%.

Because we have evolved into a more sedentary species, our eating habits have to change to catch up. Exercise in the gym help make people fitter and healthier, but it’s extremely difficult to lose weight that way. It may well be possible to increase physical activity through exercise to balance our calorific intake, but that’s not easy either.

The message from medical professionals still has to be “cut the calories” or perhaps, “cut your calories to match your physical activity level.” Furthermore, once we’re overweight, we’re caught in a catch 22 situation. The body needs more calories just to keep warm and move around normally, so obesity increases the body’s demands for food and makes it harder to be active.

It’s fine to periodically take a break when our body is telling us to rest, just make sure it’s not a break that we permanently take. It’s easy to get into the habit of sitting for long periods of time.

We really do need to keep moving.


6 Aug, 2014

4 thoughts on “Lifestyle study

  1. I agree 100% with this. A few years ago we didn’t need to exerise as we got all the exercise we needed by walking more or through our jobs. Nowadays we sit behind computers all day and watch the TV all evening, eating ready meals. It’s no wonder we’re getting fatter and fatter even though we don’t seem to have increased our overall calorie intake.

    We really do need to turn this around and change the culture of ‘laziness.’ I am not a big fan of the gym but I do enjoy walking and cycling.

    I am trying to make time for both as I know how important this is to my future health. Great post by the way.

    1. Thank you. I agree with you. Yes as a society we do need to change a culture of ‘laziness’ around so that we’re moving around more and sitting less.

      I am sure most of us if we’re honest will accept this is what we do. Your last sentence will resonate with most of us, our future health relies on us moving around and getting more exercise in.

  2. I think it starts with our children. More and more children are succumbing to sitting around playing video games, or on a computer and not getting any physical activity at all. Then on top of that they eat more and more junk food.

    Parents need to put their foot down! Make their kids get off the games and computer and get active. Parents buy the food in the house, maybe they need to buy healthy food instead of the junk they usually buy. A child won’t voluntarily go hungry. If they are hungry enough they will usually eat what’s available.

    Adults need to do the same thing for themselves. Exercise releases “feel good” hormones and usually people do feel better after they have exercised. Excuses like certain medical problems isn’t good. Exercise will usually make our conditions better.

    Even if it’s just walking a short distance, it can most of the time make the condition better. People with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue will find that light exercise will help the condition.

    I tend to have more energy and stamina after I’ve exercised or just walked a short distance.

    1. I completely agree with you. I am sure most adults do follow things through with their children.

      I know I do even now when I feel they’re doing too much of the wrong things! Hopefully with right foundations in place they will go back to what they’ve been taught, probably not when we want them to but when they’re ready.

      I believe it will happen. Our lifestyle is very much a catalyst for good health. Thanks Lisa.

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