Obesity and Exercise

Obesity is a chronic relapsing disease characterised by increased body fat. It affects 1:4 adults and 1:5 children aged 10-11.

That is 25% of ALL adults and 20% of 10-11 year olds!

The cause put simply is an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure (FDA) but other factors may increase the likelihood of obesity. These can include:

  • Endocrine and hypothalamic disorders
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Diet
  • Environmental factors such as lifestyle and levels of physical activity
  • Genetics/hereditary Health conditions such as polycystic ovaries
  • Psychological factors

The cost to the UK government is £6.1 billion in health care costs and £27 billion within the economy.

Obesity is responsible for 30,000 deaths each year and can reduce life expectancy by 9 years!

But exercise can help…

The benefits of exercise and obesity are

  • Cardiovascular fitness improves
  • Risk of heart diseases reduces
  • Lung function improves
  • Overall discomfort improves with reduced fat mass and improved muscle mass.

Reduced: adipose tissue, dyslipidaemia, BMI, CV risk – improved heart and lung function, discomfort in joints and overall – reduced fat mass and increased muscle mass resulting in reduced OA risk, BP, reduced T2DM risk – improved glucose metabolism and Insulin sensitivity, leptin and lipids Improved: inflammatory markers, BMR and energy expenditure, PA and thermogenesis from food including substrate oxidisation = TOTAL energy expenditure. Improved inflammatory markers. Sleep, wellbeing, stress, QoL, social interaction, anxiety and fatigue

Inability to weight bear, self-confidence / body image, susceptible to dehydration, diminished heat loss due to increased fat tissues = risk of heat illness, jogging not recommended due to joint stress, increased risk of CVA
INTEGRATE PA into daily routine – take the stairs, short walks at lunch time, turn off TV, park farther from the door.


Lifestyle changes account for 7-8% of overall weight loss If within 3/12 meaningful weight loss has not been achieved another intervention should be trialled Pharmacotherapy for example orlistat could be trialled and accounts for up to 16% of weight loss Medication is chosen with regards to the metabolic pathway at fault Gastric Band – 25-30% weight loss, procedure take 1-2 hours and patients stay in for 2-3 days, 1:300 risk of death Gastric Bypass – 20% weight loss, procedure take <1 hours 1:1000 risk of death, re-operation is likely and this can be reversed Gastric Sleeve – 25% weight loss, procedure takes 1-2 hours 1:300 risk of death