Less Exercise, Not More Calories, Causes Expanding Waistlines

July 8, 2014 11:12 AM

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Sedentary lifestyle and not caloric intake may be to blame for increased obesity in the U.S., according to a new analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A study published in Elsevier Health Sciences’s American Journal of Medicine reveals that in the past 20 years there has been a sharp decrease in physical exercise and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady. Investigators theorized that a nationwide drop in leisure-time physical activity, especially among young women, may be responsible for the upward trend in obesity rates.

By analyzing NHANES data from the last 20 years, researchers from Stanford Univ. discovered that the number of U.S. adult women who reported no physical activity jumped from 19.1 percent in 1994 to 51.7 percent in 2010. For men, the number increased from 11.4 percent in 1994 to 43.5 percent in 2010....

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