Highlights

  • Focus on exercise, not losing weight if you want to live longer: study
  • Researchers review 200 relevant meta-analyses and individual studies
  • Exercise and improved fitness lowered risk of premature death by 30% in sedentary people

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Focus more on exercise, not weight loss for a longer life. Here’s why

People who frequently lose and gain weight through yo-yo dieting have a greater risk of metabolic problems.

If you want to live a longer life, you might want to focus less on weight loss and more on consistent exercise, says a study from Arizona State University. 

Reviewing more than 200 relevant meta-analyses and individual studies, researchers assessed the relationship between fitness, weight, heart health and longevity. They found that exercise and improved fitness in sedentary and obese men and women lowered their risk of premature death by as much as 30 per cent. This was regardless of whether they lost weight or not.

SEE MORE Do you indulge in intense exercise in the evening? You’ll want to note this

The researchers also found that people who indulged in on and off dieting, frequently losing and gaining weight even had a greater risk of metabolic problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, and lower life expectancy.  

Published in iScience, the study explained that cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity have the power to reduce and sometimes, eliminate the mortality risks attributed to obesity.  

For people dealing with obesity-related health conditions, a weight-neutral approach to treatment may be as, or perhaps more, effective than weight-centred ones.

SEE MORE Battling moderate hypertension? Exercise should be the first line of defence

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