Many fitness and health related professionals have voiced their rebuttals. Honestly, ask yourself this. Can exercise make you thin?
Research studies are fine. But do we need them to tell us the known facts in spite of contradictory findings?
Back to the question. As I told my clients or anyone who wants to lose weight, you can't violate the first law of energy balance. If you burn off the calories (through your basic body needs and other physical activities and exercises) more than you take in, you'll lose overall weight; and vice versa.
Sometimes, research studies are so nuances that serve no good for practicality.
The largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), finally issued a press release to formally debunk the myths about weight loss and exercise in response to overwhelming questions and phone calls.
Read the ACSM press release here.
In summary, according Dr. Timothy Church, MD, PhD, the article should have touched the following areas:
- Weight maintenance is different from weight loss, and should have been discussed. Virtually all people who lose weight and keep it off are exercising to maintain weight.
- Comments about children and physical activity were misleading. Studies have shown that kids are not necessarily more active after school (and therefore need good in-school physical education program), and that the focus with children should be on physical activity and prevention of excess weight gain. (Adults, however, more often must deal with losing excess weight.)
- Exercise and diet go together. Weight management is most successful when careful attention is given to both physical activity and proper nutrition.
ACSM experts stressed that, particularly when so many struggle with the health consequences of overweight and obesity, it is important that Americans have accurate information based on science and evidence.