Africa: Exercise Brings Benefits to Health Regardless Body Mass Index

press release

Granada — 4,000 experts in nutrition are sharing advances in nutrigenetics and childhood obesity at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition in Granada

  • Studies show that a moderate level of cardiorespiratory fitness greatly reduces the risk of dying or developing non-communicable chronic diseases whether you are normal weight, overweight or obese
  • Other studies conclude that over five hours of exercise a week doesn't have any additional effect on health
  • The CHANCES project brings together data from 15 cohort studies. The first conclusions will be presented today at the IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition
  • Amongst other things, studies have been carried out on the role of nutrition in osteoporotic fractures and the relationship between levels of 25-hydroxivitamin D and mortality

Obese people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of dying or developing non-communicable diseases over the next ten years than those without weight problems who are not fit, according to the conclusions of a study by prof. Steven Blair, Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina (USA), presented by the researcher at the round table “Healthy Life Style Promotion”, during the IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition being held in Granada (Spain).

Blair, an expert on the study of the effects of physical exercise on health, acknowledges that physical activity is one behavior that, along with diet, managing stress, getting adequate sleep and not smoking, may help to bring about a decrease in non-communicable chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity and respiratory disorders, which are main cause of death in the world.

“We have published dozens of studies in major scientific/medical journals showing that if you have at least a moderate level of cardiorespiratory fitness, your risk of dying or developing non-communicable chronic diseases is greatly reduced, whether you are normal weight, overweight or obese. A good example of how to become moderately fit is walking: three ten-minute walks/day on five days of the week will produce moderate fitness,” comments Professor Blair.

Prof. Steven Blair also commented that more than 300 minutes a week of exercise does not appear to provide substantial additional health benefits. “There is a lot of evidence on the dose response of aerobic training and many health outcomes. Generally the data show a curvilinear association with substantial benefits from moving from very sedentary to moderately active. The curve begins to flatten and show little additional benefits after about 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity/week”, explained Blair.

The CHANCES project

Nutrition influences length and quality of life in the elderly. In order to discover to what extent, the CHANCES project analyses data from several cohort studies (studies monitoring groups of population over time) currently going on in Europe and the United States in order to generate scientific knowledge and develop recommendations on health issues associated with ageing, nutrients and their socio-economic implications. The preliminary results from some of these studies were presented at the IUNS 20TH International Congress of Nutrition today.

In Granada, studies have been put forward on matters such as the influence of nutrition on osteoporotic fractures, blood marker indicators for the state of ageing of the body and the relationship to levels of 25-hydroxivitamin D in the blood.

“So far, there is evidence that the Mediterranean diet increases life expectation and that there are risk factors relating to food, such as hypertension or levels of LDL cholesterol, which are predictors of a greater risk of death”, summarised Antonia Trichopoulou, Medical School, University of Athens (Greece) and moderator at the table “The Role of Nutrition in Healthy Ageing: The Chances Project”.

The CHANCES project (whose initials stand for Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States) focuses on the four chronic diseases that mean a higher level of disease in old age: cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, osteoporosis and fractures, and cognitive functioning and psychiatric disorders.

The CHANCES project analyses data from fifteen cohorts that include the populations of 18 EU member states, amongst others. Those presented at the IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition are only a sample of the numerous studies that are currently being carried out. “The combination of all this work will lead to an integrated strategy for the study of health in old age”, pointed out Prof. Trichopoulou.

IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition

The IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition, a maximum benchmark event of great prestige within the nutrition sector at international level, is promoted by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and organised by the Spanish Nutrition Society with the collaboration of the Iberoamerican Nutrition Foundation (FINUT) and the University of Granada. It will be held in Spain for the first time in the city of Granada from 15 to 20 September 2013, and its theme will be “Joining Cultures through Nutrition”.

Every four years, the International Union of Nutritional Science (IUNS) promotes this congress, which brings together over a 100 countries.

The IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition will be sponsored by numerous international institutions and agencies, and has the collaboration of companies amongst which we can highlight as Platinum Sponsors: Abbott Nutrition Health Institute, DSM, Lactalis-Puleva, Nestlé Nutrition, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever, as Gold Sponsor: Danone and as Silver Sponsors: Ajinomoto, General Mills, Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition and Mondelez.

For further information, please visit the official website: icn2013.com

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