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Increasing Exercise Linked to Decreasing Obesity in Women

But inverse dose-response relationship is not observed in men or in racial/ethnic minorities

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- In adult women, there is a crude, graded inverse dose-response relationship between total volume of leisure-time physical activity and obesity, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Dong-Chul Seo, Ph.D., of Indiana University in Bloomington, and Kaigang Li, Ph.D., of the University at Albany in Rensselaer, N.Y., analyzed 1999 to 2006 data on 12,227 non-institutionalized adults ages 20 to 64 enrolled in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Among women with no leisure-time physical activity in the past month, the researchers found that the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 41.4 percent. They found that the prevalence of obesity was 39.1 percent in women who engaged in leisure-time physical activity of less than the recommended minimum amount of 450 metabolic equivalent minutes per week, and 31 percent in those who met the recommended minimum guideline of 450 to <750 metabolic equivalent minutes per week. They also found that 750 to <1,260, 1,260 to <3,556, and 3,556 or more metabolic equivalent minutes per week were associated with obesity rates of 28, 23.4, and 19.5 percent, respectively.

"However, the dose-response relationship was not observed for men and racial/ethnic minorities due, in part, to differential ratios of leisure-time physical activity and occupational physical activity," the authors conclude.

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