People failing to increase their oxygen levels through vigorous exercise is a bigger problem than the spiralling obesity epidemic, an expert has claimed.
Society is so obsessed with the problem of obesity that it is not seeing the threats posed by inactivity and low fitness, believes Steven Blair, professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, South Carolina.
He told a podcast for the British Journal of Sports Medicine that he is frustrated by the fact research can focus on weight problems while overlooking the issues brought on by lack of exercise.
He said: “I’m certainly not saying that we should ignore obesity as a risk factor for various non-communicable diseases and such but it is far less important than physical activity and fitness.”
The expert is of the opinion that low fitness is a bigger public health issue than obesity, although levels of obesity are rising across the globe.
Professor Blair continued: “It is clear we have an obesity epidemic around the world, virtually in every country the rates of obesity and overweight have been going up, so there is no question that an epidemic exists.”
According to the NHS, lack of exercise is a contributing factor to obesity but it is also brought on by poor diet and lifestyle choices, as well as being due, in some part, to genetics.
It is not just poor dietary choices, like processed foods, that pile on the pounds, as eating out or having excessively large portions all work to make your stomach bigger, increasing its capacity for food.
Fitness expert and entrepreneur Steve Halsall offered exercise advice perhaps well suited to people struggling with their weight.
He advised fitness-hopefuls to partake in interval walking, which incorporates small bursts of speed into a slower or normal-paced walk.
Mr Halsall said: “Using naturally occurring slopes and hills will increase intensity too. Ultimately it is about creating a situation where it is a workout, not a stroll.”
Posted by James Worrall
24/04/2012 09:52:57Subscribe to the News RSS feed