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Eat, Gain Weight and Still Be Healthy

December 2, 2013
Plain English Version

There is a catch.

A study was done of a group of 26 healthy young men. They exercised regularly. None were obese. Biopsies of their fat tissue showed normal metabolisms and blood sugar control. There were no symptoms of diabetes.

The group was asked to do a lot of sitting and eating in order to take in more calories than they were expending. Studies show that even a few days of sitting and eating can be bad for otherwise healthy bodies. Such behaviors can lead to diabetes and other serious health problems.

For a long time, science has said that exercise will cancel the effects of too much sitting and eating. The trick is to use more energy than the calories you consume.

In this experiment, the whole group was told to continue sitting and eating. Half the group was told to run on a treadmill at a moderate pace for 45 minutes daily. The other half of the group was told not to exercise on the treadmill.

Both groups decreased the number of steps they took each day from 10,000 to 4,000. Steps made  on the treadmill were not included. Both groups were told to continue eating more.

After seven days they were retested. On several factors that measure health, including blood sugar levels and the number of fat cells, there were big differences between the group that exercised, while continuing to eat, and the group that did not exercise while continuing to eat.

A researcher concluded: “Exercise seemed to cancel out many of the changes caused by overfeeding and reduced activity.”

Not much is known about why this happened.

However, there is a practical message especially for the holidays. If you are going to eat a lot, daily exercise will prevent many bad health things from happening.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                           November 27, 2013

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