Posted by: getthenac | July 9, 2010

Keep Moving

from Bill Snyder:

Middle-aged women who engage in even modest levels of physical activity can reduce their risk of becoming obese, according to a study to be published next month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College analyzed data from more than 30,000 women in 12 southeastern states who were enrolled in the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS) from 2002 to 2006.

They found the association between sedentary behavior and severe obesity was particularly strong among white women.

Study leader Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., who directs Vanderbilt’s Energy Balance Core Laboratory, said the obesity “gap” could be due to physiological differences between the two groups or to differences in the way they reported their activity levels.

Regardless, “in middle-aged and older women, a reduction in sedentary time may represent a strategy that complements – and may extend – obesity prevention efforts,” the researchers concluded.

“We do not have to engage only in moderate or strenuous physical activities,” said Margaret Hargreaves, Ph.D., professor of Internal Medicine at Meharry and co-principal investigator of the SCCS.

Particularly for the low-income women in the study, most of whom were in their 50s, “initial increases in activity should be slow and gentle,” she said.

SCCS principal investigator William Blot, Ph.D., professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt and CEO of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., also contributed to the study.

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