Slightly obese who exercise live longer than skinnies

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New York: Slightly overweight people live longer than those of a “healthy” weight, according to new research.

The researchers in the US and Canada concluded that a person’s weight was not the full picture in good health. It is better to be plumpish and exercise than to be slim and sedentary, the study found

For instance, a stressed-out, sedentary person of normal weight may be in worse shape than a plumpish individual who exercises and keeps stress levels under control.

The researchers tracked the health and habits of more than 11,000 Canadians for 12 years.

The men and women were divided into five categories based on their Body Mass Index, calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared.

Using pounds and ounces, the weight in pounds is multiplied by 703 and divided by the height in inches squared.

This means that a 5ft 10in man weighing 11st 2lb would have a BMI of 22.3, placing him within the ‘normal’ weight range.

A rating below 18.5 is regarded as underweight, above 25 is overweight and above 30 regarded as obese.

Those with a BMI of above 35 were classed as extremely obese.

During the period studied, the underweight were 70 per cent more likely to have died than those of normal weight, followed by the extremely obese. However, the obese lived roughly as long as those of normal weight.

Those classed as overweight, meaning they were carrying a stone or so too much for their height, were 17 per cent less likely to have died, the journal Obesity reports.

Researcher David Feeny, of Kaiser Permanente Northwest Centre for Health Research in Oregon, said: ‘It’s not surprising that extreme underweight and extreme obesity increase the risk of dying but it is surprising that carrying a little extra weight may give people a longevity advantage.’

Dr Feeny, who falls into the overweight category, said there could be several explanations for the result.

For instance, concern about the health of the overweight and obese may mean that problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes are more likely to be spotted and treated, improving health.

And those who start out slightly heavier will have more reserves to call on should they lose weight due to ill health as they get older.

Finally, a person’s lifestyle has to be factored in.

Banned slim pill gets UK go-ahead

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London: Acomplia, a weightloss pill banned in the US over concerns that it may increase the risk of suicide has been given approval for patients in the UK.

The once-a-day pill which is also available in Germany and France can now be prescribed by the public health authority, the National Health Service, to patients who have failed to loose weight on other pills such as Xenical and Reductil.

It has failed to get US authorisation because it it thought to increase suicidal thoughts in people already suffering from depression.

The European Medicines Agency has already issued a warning highlighting the fact that it may ber unsafe for anyone suffering from depression or taking anti-depressant drugs.

It has demonstrated success is helping two out of five patients shed 10 per cent of their weight.

Exercise does not suppress appetite in obese women

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New York: Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that exercise does not suppress appetite in obese women, as it does in lean women.

Katarina Borer, PhD, a University of Michigan researcher and lead author of the study said that this lack of appetite suppression may promote greater food intake after exercise in obese women.

“This information will help therapists and physicians understand the limitations of exercise in appetite control for weight loss in obese people,” she added.

Borer and her co-workers sought to better understand how changes in body fat level influence appetite and a hormone called leptin, which in animals curbs appetite when body fat increases.

When leptin levels rise, it supposedly shuts off appetite and motivates physical activity to burn calories. However, as obese people become fatter, their leptin levels rise, but they become resistant to the actions of this hormone.

“The hormone doesn’t do the job it’s supposed to do in lean people,” Borer said.

In research funded by the National Institutes of Health, Borer’s group studied 20 postmenopausal women: 10 lean and 10 obese women. The women ate three weight-maintenance meals a day while participating in three experiments on three separate days. During one experiment they did not exercise.

In the other two experiments the women exercised on a treadmill in the morning and the afternoon. They burned 500 calories each time, for a total of 1,000 calories a day.

These two experiments differed by exercise intensity. One involved walking at high intensity, or 80 percent of maximal effort, for 7.5 minutes, with 10-minute rest periods between 10 walking sessions. The other experiment was half as intense (40 percent of peak effort) and involved walking for 15 minutes and resting for 5 minutes.

Every hour and before each meal, subjects recorded their appetite level on a 10-point scale ranging from not at all hungry to extremely hungry. Blood samples were collected every 15 to 60 minutes for hormone measurements.

Obese women claimed they were less hungry than lean women before meals and reported no appetite suppression during exercise, Borer said.

As expected, obese women had much higher leptin levels than in lean women, study data showed.

But during intense exercise, obese women did not have reduced production of leptin, as lean women did. Only moderate-intensity exercise lowered leptin in obese women.

“Obesity interferes with leptin’s detection of exercise energy expenditure and with appetite suppression,” Borer said.

“Obese women perhaps need to consciously watch their calories because some of the hormonal satiety [fullness] signals don’t seem to work as well.”

Mediterrean diet cuts diabetes risk

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Madrid: A Mediterranean diet that includes fruit, vegetables, fibre and healthier fats may protect against type two diabetes, a new study suggests.

The study monitored the eating habits of 14,000 Spaniards over a four year period to see who developed the condition.

The results indicated a 83% lower risk for those who followed the diet, the British Medical Journal reported.

The traditional lifestyle of the Mediterrean includes regular exercise, but also plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables, usually cooked in olive oil, and red wine.

This diet has already been shown to be good for heart health. In addition olive oil helps control blood sugar and lower blood pressure.

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World’s heaviest man now weights only 50 stone

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New York: Manuel Uribe, a 42-year-old Mexican, who is officially the world’s heaviest man, has lost half of his body weight – 40 stone – on a high protein diet.

Ex- mechanic, Uribe, who weighed 89.8 stone after a 14-year junk food binge, has been bedridden for six years. As a result he suffered lesions and bed sores.

The dramatic loss in weight took place over two years and he is now determined to reach his target weight of 15.7 stone.

Originally he had planned to have gastric bypass surgery but instead went on the high protein Zone Diet with the help of US biochemist Dr Barry Sears.

Manuel, who lives in Moterrey, Mexico, with his fiancée Claudia Solis Miranda and his mother Orilia, started dieting after a tearful TV appeal two years ago where he begged viewers to save his life.

Although over-eating was a contributory factor in Manuel’s weight gain, doctors believe it is mainly down to hormone imbalance.

A big waist is bad news for your brain

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New York: A big waist by the time you reach your 40s, may triple the threat of dementia in old age, according to new US research.

Obesity is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but scientists found even those of normal weight were more at risk if they had a large waist.

However, the study, by health provider Kaiser Permanente used evidence from 6,500 people, is published in the journal Neurology, found obesity and bulging stomach was still the most dangerous combination.

An obesity expert said waist size was a good guide to several future health problems.Research linking obesity to dementia does not reveal precisely why being overweight can affect your ageing brain, but many specialists believe that associated problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels may contribute.

Thickness of fat around the waist is thought to correspond closely with its presence around the major organs of the body.

The latest study suggests that while the standard measure of obesity – body mass index – can help predict those at risk, the lifestyles which produce large bellies may have a closer relationship with the long-term causes of dementia.

Researchers working for Kaiser Permanente, one of the biggest healthcare providers in the US, looked at 6,583 people aged between 40 and 45, measuring their abdominal fat levels with calipers.

They then followed all of these people into their 70s to see who became ill, and who managed to maintain relatively good health.

They found the 20% of people with the largest waistlines had a 270% greater risk of dementia than those with the smallest waists.

Even those reckoned to be normal weight using body mass index calculations had approximately an 90% increased risk of dementia if they had a large rather than a small waist.

People who were measured as overweight or obese using body mass index, but who didn’t have a large belly, had an 80% increase in dementia risk but a combination of all these factors led to a bigger overall increase.

Being overweight and with a large waist raised the risk by 230%, but those who were large-waisted and were so overweight they could be officially classed as obese recorded a 360% rise in dementia risk compared to small-waisted people who met guidelines on normal weight.

Dr Rachel Whitmer, who led the research, said: “It is well known that being overweight in midlife and beyond increases risk factors for disease.

“However, where one carries the weight, especially in midlife, appears to be an important predictor for dementia risk.”

She said that autopsies suggested that the changes in the brain characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease started to appear decades before any symptoms became apparent.

Plant sterols are mega cholesterol busters

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Plant sterols, also called phytosterols, can reduce cholesterol levels, no matter how much fat is in your diet, says Canadian researchers in the journal, Metabolism.

So if you have a diet high in saturated fats including those in read meat, cheese and fried foods you can still fight bad cholesterol (LDL) by taking phytosterol supplements.

Although the new research has revealed that phytosterols continue to work evne if you eat bad dietary fats it makes sense to improve the foods you eat. As well as supplements there are also added phytosterols in some foods, particularly the fats and drinks in the Flora range of products.

Exercise for 10 minutes a day improves health

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New York: Just 10 minutes of exercise daily can improve the lives of overweight or obese older woman, new research has found.

In a study of 430 overweight, postmenopausal women who took part in various amounts of exercise each week- some as little as 70 minutes a week and others as much as 190 minutes a week, over a six month period.

Most of the exercise was done in three to four sessions per week. When the women were not enrolled in some kind of organized exercise, they were fitted with pedometers and told to simply go for walks to fill their exercise quotas.

Those who did the most exercise reaped the most benefits. But even those women who exercised just 10 minutes a day noticed improvements.

The women reported they felt better physically, emotionally and they could perform everyday tasks better, such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. The women improved:

* almost 7 per cent in physical function and general health,
* 16.6 per cent in vitality,
* 11.5 per cent in performing work or other activities,
* 11.6 per cent in emotional health
* and more than 5 per cent in social functioning.

Some of the women did lose weight over the six months. But the researchers found that it didn’t matter even if they didn’t; just getting out and about exercising improved their overall quality of life.

Researcher and study co-author Angela Thompson of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La said: “The public health message is tremendous, because it provides further support for the notion that even if someone cannot exercise an hour or more daily, getting out and exercising 10 to 30 minutes per day is beneficial, too.”

The research was presented Thursday at the American Heart Association’s Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

“This is the first large controlled study of postmenopausal women to look at the effect of exercise training on the quality of life,” added Dr. Timothy S. Church, principal investigator and research director at Pennington. “It shows that exercise gives you energy and makes you feel better.”

“Walking a little bit every day will help tremendously,” Thompson added. “Walk with your mother, a neighbor or friend. A little physical activity will improve your quality of life.”

Can fizzy drinks cause obesity?

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St Pauls: Drinking carbonated diet drinks is linked with metabolic disorders, researchers at the University of Minnesota have concluded.

Metabolic syndrome is an increase in risk factors toward cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This includes a larger waistline, high blood pressure and higher levels of fats found in the blood.

The research which took over nine years and examined data on 10,000 individuals.

The study showed that people who drank one can of diet soda every day were 34 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, but those who drank one can of regular soda were only 10 percent more likely to develop it.

Does this new information cause people to want to steer clear of carbonated diet drink?

The researchers say more research is required to establish the link with diet drinks.

Diets high in fat encourage binge eating

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Chicago: People who eat a high-fat diet are more likely to binge eat at night, according to scientists at the Northwestern University.

Their esearch reveals that over-eating will alter the body’s internal clock, which regulates when we sleep, wake and feel hungry.

The conclusion was made after studying the reactions of mice fed on only high-fat foods. After two weeks, they exhibited an interference with their internal clocks, causing them to eat extra food when they should have been either asleep or at rest.

Prof Joe Bass, who led the research, said: “We found that as an animal on a high-fat diet gains weight it eats at the inappropriate time for its sleep and wake cycle all of the excess calories are consumed when the animal should be resting.

“For a human, that would be like raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night and bingeing on junk food.”

The study, published in the Cell Metabolism journal also reveals that starting a high-fat diet increases the propensity for obesity because the body’s metabolism is disrupted and eating patterns become irregular.

Italians create ‘pasta’ diet pill

Naples: Italian scientists has created a new diet pill that fills you up as if you have eaten a whole bowl of pasta.

The new 500mg pill which is drunk with two glasses of water is made of cellulose powder that expands 1,000 times its original size – it effectively becomes the size of a tennis ball in the stomach.

Professor Luigi Ambrosio, of the National Research Council in Naples, the lead researcher in the project says,”The sensation is like eating a nice plate of spaghetti.”

The pill has been tested on 20 people for a month last year, and is now being tested on a further 90 people at the Policlinico Gemelli hospital in Rome until October this year.

A new company known as Academic Life Science has been created to market the pill which . He hopes to be selling the pill by next May.

Professor Ambrosio, said the cellulose from which the pill is made comes from a natural substance found inside plants and has a beneficial action on the gut.

Briton’s try to loose 13 million stone for holidays

London: Britons aim to lose a massive 13 million stone in weight by mid-August, according to a new poll by breakfast cereal giant KelloggÂ’s.

Over a quarter of Brits are currently dieting to be body-beautiful this summer, with the average desired weight-loss almost a stone.

Men are becoming as body conscious as women with 87 per cent taking measures to lose weight for the beach with 70 per cent aiming to lose over half a stone.

The poll also revealed some bad dieting habits, with many Britons likely to fall short of their target weight. The number one diet trap was skipping breakfast to reduce calorie intake (50 per cent of respondents). Other statistics reveal:

· 40 per cent lied to themselves about their calorie intake,

· 32 per cent of Brits were starving themselves in a bid to slim down this summer,

· 31 per cent admitted that booze was often what caused them to ditch the diet;

· 16 per cent switched from one fad diet to another and

· 15 per cent ‘binged and purged’.

Leading diet and fitness expert Joanna Hall comments: “In many cases dieters believe that skipping breakfast or even starving themselves completely can be a fast-track to weight-loss success. In fact, studies show that those who make time to eat breakfast actually tend to be slimmer than those who skip. If you donÂ’t have this meal in the morning youÂ’re more likely to overindulge later in the day on high fat, high sugar foods. Many forms of dieting are a false economy and will simply leave you devoid of energy and your diet doomed to failure – itÂ’s best to focus on a balanced diet and regular exercise. “

The majority of people dieting for summer are doing it for themselves but over a fifth of male dieters are losing weight for their partners, whereas only a sixth of females are doing it for the man in their life. A fifth of young people (16 – 24 years old) believe that losing weight will help them attract a new partner.

Regional Differences

· The most body conscious city is Glasgow, with 85% of people hoping to lose at least half a stone or more by August.

· Geordies are the worst for skipping breakfast to save on calories (65 per cent) and Glaswegians are more likely to nibble on food at work (43 per cent).

· Half of those dieters surveyed from Belfast have failed their diets in the past by losing willpower whilst ‘under the influence’.

Rimi Obra-Ratwatte, Kellogg’s nutritionist says; “It is worrying to see some of the diet trap trends that emerge from this survey, especially when we so many people are making a concerted effort to skip breakfast, follow fad diets or even ‘binge and purge’. Successful weight management hinges on the ability to stick to a balanced diet that ensures nutrients are taken from a wide variety of food groups in addition to par-taking in regular activity.”

Background info:
· The poll conducted by www.Tickbox.net on behalf of Kellogg’s, surveyed 1349 men and women across the UK in June 2007.

· Additional survey findings include:

o 40% of people in the UK have dieted in the last 12 months
o 40% of dieters regularly lie to themselves about their calorie intake

· A copy of the De la Hunty & Ashwell M. 2007 Report: “Are people who eat breakfast cereals slimmer than those who don’t” can be obtained from the Kellogg’s Press Office

Brits – the fattest in Europe, says new survey

London: Brits are the fattest people in Europe, says a new survey by the European Union’s Statistical Office, Eurostat.

A quarter of women and a fifth of men in the UK are now so overweight that their health is at serious risk. Second and third place go to Germany and Malta.

British women head the EU league, with 23 per cent clinically obese, and men fare little better, with 22.3 per cent classified as obese behind only Malta.

The figures highlight the obesity timebomb of ageing diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases brought on by obesity.

German women have an obesity rate of 21.7 per cent and Maltese women 21.2 per cent. The thinnest women are in Italy, where fewer than 8 per cent are obese.

The highest rate of male obesity is in Malta, with 25.1 per cent obese. British men are second with a rate of 22.3 per cent, followed by Hungary and Germany. Romania has the best record on male obesity, with just 7.7 per cent obese.

Measured by calculating Body Mass Index – a mathematical formula relating height to weight – people are classified as obese if they weigh a fifth more than their ideal maximum weight.

The EU statisticians looked only at adult obesity, but previous studies have shown rates of child obesity are equally worrying. In Britain the figures have trebled in 20 years, with 10 per cent of six-year-olds and 17 per cent of 15-year-olds now obese.

Adult obesity rates have nearly quadrupled over the last 25 years, making Britain the second-fattest nation in the developed world, trailing behind only America.

Obesity causes 9,000 premature deaths a year and costs the NHS up to ÂŁ1billion.

Being obese can take nine years of a person’s lifespan and raise the risk of a host of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, infertility and depression.

The risk of many cancers, including breast, colon, kidney and stomach cancer, are linked to weight.

Fitness watch – the perfect present for a fat friend!

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London:ItÂ’s time to burn off all those festive calories, and what better way to do it than with the new JML Fitness Watch!

It has all the fancy stuff that you expect from heart rate monitors and all that other nerdy exercise stuff and whittled it down into a very accessible timepiece. The Fitness Watch works in two ways: it takes accurate readings of your heart (by touching a sensor on the watch); it also has an Exercise Mode that can measure the amount of calories you burn.

The Fitness Watch closely monitors your heart to identify how to get the most from your exercise. Work too hard or below your target, and the alarm sounds. The LCD display will indicate if you are below or above your target. It also comes with a sturdy bar grip enabling you to attach it to your bike. It’s an excellent choice for a tubby friend, exercise fiends and those of you looking to stick to New Year’s resolutions. What time is it? Time to buy the JML Fitness Watch. Available at $40(£19.99 €30) from the UK stores Boots and Robert Dyas and online at www.jmldirect.com

Dieters cut calories rather than exercise

London: Dieters prefer to count calories rather than take the healthier exercise option, says a new poll from pharma giant, GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare.

Twice as many dieters count calories to lose weight rather than exercise, a poll has found. And this diet loss method if more poplar with women than men.Calorie counting is most popular with women – half opt to count their food intake, compared with a third of men.

Surprisingly 59% of the 2,000 people surveyed by GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare realised exercise makes the greater contribution to personal health.

More choice in low-calorie foods means people are giving up exercise in favour of consuming less, nutritionists say.

John Brewer, GSK Sports Scientist, said: “The trend of people swapping the gym for a low calorie meal is very worrying.

“Consuming fewer calories is no substitute for exercise. We cannot afford to become a nation of calorie-counting couch potatoes – the benefits of leading active lives are enormous.”

Graham Neale of GSK Nutritional Healthcare said diet food manufacturers had a responsibility to consumers.

He said: “With food and drink manufacturers broadening their ‘diet’ ranges, we need a concerted effort to encourage consumers to focus as much on ‘energy out’ as ‘energy in’.”

UK government offers obese free dance classes

London: The UK Government’s Department of Health is to offer dancing lessons in a bid to cut obesity levels.

Adults will be prescribed lessons in the waltz and tango, while teenagers will be tutored in the latest street dance. Also on the exercise list will be trampolining and country walks.

The authorities are hoping that increased exercise levels will cut the UK’s obesity problem – the worst in Europe with a quarter of adults classed as obese.

British children spend almost nine and a half hours a week in front of a TV or playing computer games – and less than an hour a day exercising.

If the trend continues it is thought a third of adults and a fifth of children will be obese by

The Government says will try to motivate the obese by paying for them to take part in a range of activities.

Kick start the black dress party season with a slimming wrap

You may have slimmed down last summer, but during the dark winter months you’re seeking solace in your favourite TV armchair and warm comfort food. You’re feeling lethargic and out of shape but the thought of thrice weekly at the gym has become ‘must I really?’

Surely thereÂ’s something that can help kick-start this yearÂ’s slimming plan? The answer is Universal Contour Wrap, the nationÂ’s leading fast inch loss and figure firming body treatment, available in more than 900 beauty salons nationwide.

One Wrap typically reduces a combination of your vital statistics by 10-12 inches, with a guarantee that if you donÂ’t lose at least six after your first full body wrap, thereÂ’s nothing to pay. And the minimum loss is guaranteed to last for at least 30 days or you’ll be wrapped again free, provided you haven’t put on weight. A course of three body wraps could help you lose up to a dress size in just three weeks.

“The slimming effect of the Universal Contour Wrap is evident immediately and spurs people on to start or maintain effective exercise and dieting regimes,” says Universal Contour Wrap’s Gill Hardy. “Salons tend to be quieter in the early part of the year and so there are often good discounts if you book a package or course of slimming beauty therapies.”

What is involved? After recording key body measurements at 18 points, clients are ‘wrapped’ firmly in elasticated bandages soaked in a warm, sea clay and mineral solution. The wrap acts like a giant poultice, drawing out toxins and stimulating the body’s natural waste disposal processes. The wrapping process compacts the fatty areas of the body, while special sculpting techniques smooth hips, thighs and stomach, define the waist and lift the bust and bottom. The clay formula tightens flabby skin, reduces the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, improves skin tone and leaves the skin feeling luxuriously soft. The total inch loss is calculated by re-measuring at the points marked on the body at the start.

Universal Contour Wrap costs from around ÂŁ50, and a course of three from ÂŁ125 (UK regional variations). Call 01784 259988 for salon locations or visit www.universalcontourwrap.com

British fattest people in Europe

The British are the fattest people in Europe, according to a new UK Government report.

One in four adults and teenage girls are overweight. And within the next four years the figures will increase to one in three adults and a fifth of all children.

The means Britain has the worst obesity rate in Europe and will likely have more people at risk from the diseases of ageing such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The report also reveals that people living in the poorer north are likely to be fatter and die earlier than those living in the south of the country.

The highest life expectancy rates are in the South-West, where women can expect to live to 82 years, while men reach 77.8 years.

In contrast, the average woman in the North-East lives to 79.6 years – and the average man to 75.

The report also shows a steep rise in binge drinking. One in three men aged under 44 drinks twice the recommended levels of alcohol on at least one day a week – as do one in four women under 25.

Those living in the North-East are most likely to drink excessively, with a quarter of adults there binge drinking, compared with the national average of 18 per cent.

Obesity now a major health risk in UK

London: Obesity is a major health risk in the UK, the British government warned today.

Health officials called on parents to take more responsbility for their diets and that of their children. Children in the UK are five times more likely to be overweight and than their parents.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said that obesity cost the country’s National Health Service more than ÂŁ1bn and that obese people were twice as likely to suffer from diabetes and heart disease.

She said the cause was the decreasing amount of exercise taken by adults and children, even though the average number of calories consumed had fallen.

Exercise increases abdomen fat loss

New York: Exercise combined with a sensible diet will shift fat cells faster than diet alone.

A trial was carried out on two groups of obese women in which one was given a regime of calorie cutting and the other diet plus exercise. The women who exercised had a reduction in fat cells around the abdomen whilst the other group did not. This loss is important as abdomen obesity is linked to heart disease and diabetes.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, suggest that exercise provokes the body to choose to breakdown of fat cells in the abdomen, first. It also means that exercise is important to a person’s distribution of body fat.

The research was carried out at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and included 45 obese middle-aged women who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one that cut calorie intake alone; one that cut calories and walked at a moderate pace three days per week; and a third that dieted and walked at a more intense pace three days a week.

After 20 weeks, all three groups showed improvements in their weight and body fat percentage. But when the researchers took samples of body fat from just below the skin’s surface, the differences between exercisers and non-exercisers emerged.

Women in both exercise groups showed about an 18 percent reduction in the size of abdominal fat cells, whereas dieters showed no change.

Losing abdominal fat is more than a matter of fitting into a smaller dress. Research shows that people who are “apple-shaped” are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease than “pear-shaped” individuals, who carry much of their fat below the waist.

So people who include exercise in their weight-loss plan may lower their risk of such diseases to a greater degree, You said. What’s more, he noted, even if people fail to lose a significant amount of weight with regular exercise, the changes in abdominal fat cells might still benefit their health.