More Americans are walking, running and hitting the gym, but it’s not the magic bullet for rising obesity rates, reported a new study.
It’s too soon to tell if obesity being classified as a disease will do anything to bring down rising obesity rates, but the study concludes that more people getting active has only a small impact on obesity rates.
Scientists at the University of Washington took data for 2001-2011 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationwide phone survey that covers most counties in the United States.
The researchers analyzed data about physical activity and obesity, breaking it down by county and gender. They discovered that both physical activity rates and obesity rose during the decade the study covered. The most active counties had lower obesity rates, but it only translated to physical activity having a small effect on obesity at the end.
The results also found that the most active counties differed between men and women.The least obese counties were not always the most active ones. Both physical activity and obesity rates were higher for men than women, reaffirming that physical activity does not always translate to a lower BMI. In short, this study confirms that getting more physical activity helps lower obesity rates, but it’s no miracle cure.