Can we have our cake and eat it — then go to the gym?

Jun 27, 2008

There is compelling evidence that both obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are strong independent risk factors for premature death — but is it healthier to be obese and physically active or a healthy weight and sedentary? In other words can we have our cake and eat it if we then hit the gym?

A public debate is being staged at The University of Nottingham on behalf of the Nutrition Society to discuss whether we can be 'fit and fat'.

Speakers from the fields of metabolism, obesity, exercise and nutrition will open the event these talks will be followed by a public debate. All members of the public are welcome to join in.

The theme of the debate centres on the 'fat and fit' hypothesis which states that:

-- Regular physical activity reduces many of the health risks associated with being overweight or obese.
-- Physical activity appears not only to reduce the health risks of being overweight and obese but active obese individuals actually have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight individuals who are sedentary.
-- Inactivity and low cardio-respiratory fitness are as important as overweight and obesity as mortality predictors.

Questions from the floor will be taken by Ian MacDonald, Professor of Metabolic Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham. Also speaking will be Nicky Gilbert, a freelance sports nutritionist who has worked with world class athletes and Dr David Stensel an expert in exercise and metabolism in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Loughborough University.

Professor MacDonald said: “It is clear that being overweight and being sedentary are associated with an increased risk of ill health. It is not clear whether one of these is more unhealthy than the other, or just how many overweight people really are physically fit and whether this protects them against the problems caused by overweight”.

The public engagement event is part of the Nutrition Society Summer meeting which is being held at The University of Nottingham between 30 June and 3rd July 2008. The debate has been organised by Dr Alison Mostyn, a lecturer in Biological Sciences in the School of Nursing. Pupils from local secondary schools and members of the general public are invited to attend.

Dr Moystn said: “It's great that the University of Nottingham and the Nutrition Society can open this debate up to the public. Obesity is in the news almost daily at the moment; this event will give people from the East Midlands the opportunity to hear some expert speakers discuss exercise and obesity — a topic which affects many of us”.

Source: The University of Nottingham

Explore further: Western diet leads to poorer performance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mapping the connections between diverse sets of data

Sep 12, 2014

What is a map? Most often, it's a visual tool used to demonstrate the relationship between multiple places in geographic space. They're useful because you can look at one and very quickly pick up on the general ...

So... do you know what is in your water?

Sep 03, 2014

Would you like your glass of water with a little iron it? Or do you prefer a copper taste? Possibly manganese? Did you realize that there are more than two dozen flavors to water, not all of which are as ...

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Extra time in math class has its minuses, scholar says

Jul 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Eric Taylor, a PhD student at Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis, found that students who spent more of the school day in math class had higher math scores, but the gains ...

Recommended for you

Electronic health records tied to shorter time in ER

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Length of emergency room stay for trauma patients is shorter with the use of electronic health records, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

DeeSmith
not rated yet Jun 28, 2008
Visceral fat is at issue here, because of the abnormal chemistry of central adipose hormones (abnormal growth of cells, immune system alterations). Sedentary induhviduals, whether fat (sedentary/compulsive eaters) or thin (smokers, caffeine addicts or compulsive dieters) also have abnormal cellular function, in mitochondrial, nuclear and membrane function and intercellular signaling (energetics, immune and cellular division - in particular, CNS dysfunction within secretory systems).

Exercise conditions the CNS. Excess energy produces oxidant overload and shifts all important redox status. Muscle and liver tissue status balance one another (direct signaling that modulates many cellular systems). These are 'set' by caloric intake and energy expenditure, and it's muscle and liver that influence energy expenditure and redox status in the blood, and in the brain, at the hypothalamus.

Beyond diet and sedentary state, CNS condition is also heavily influenced by chronic and acute stress loads and sleep hygiene.