Every Size volunteers had kept their weight stable, neither gaining nor losing a significant number of pounds. In contrast, the dieters had lost weight by the sixth month, but regained it by the 2-year checkpoint. Their beginning weights and their weights 2 years later weren’t significantly different.
At the start and end of the study, total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure were in the normal range for all the women. Within this range, however, the Every Size women lowered their total cholesterol and their systolic blood pressure and were able to maintain those reductions for the entire course of the study.
In contrast, the dieters didn’t lower their total cholesterol at any point in the study. And they weren’t able to maintain the healthful decrease in systolic blood pressure that they’d achieved just after the 6-month reducing-diet phase
What about physical activity?
At the 2-year point, Every Size team members had nearly quadrupled the amount of time they spent in moderate, hard, or very hard physical activity, compared to what they had reported at the study’s outset.
The dieters didn’t fare as well. At the 1-year point, they were exercising more than at the start, but they didn’t sustain their improved level to the 2-year checkpoint.
Although all the dieters made a lasting improvement in at least one of the food-related habits called “eating behaviors,” the Every Size volunteers improved in more of the categories.
The researchers also monitored depression, a common problem among large-sized women whose low self-esteem may be related to their body image. Both groups made significant strides in lessening depression, but only the Every Size women were able to preserve a more optimistic outlook.
However, the recent meta-analysis of studies on the relationship between physical activity and abdominal fat using imaging techniques revealed that reductions in visceral and total abdominal fat may occur in the absence of changes in BMI and waist circumference (41).
Thus, insensitivity of anthropometric indexes to reflect actual amounts of visceral fat may contribute to overestimating the role of fitness in relation to fatness in their effect on cardiometabolic risks.
Federal guidelines call for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, including two days of full-body strengthening.
...it may be time to consider more drastic measures, from employer-mandated exercise breaks for office workers to auto-free zones that encourage more walking.
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