STATES CHRONICLE – Exercise is good for you, being overweight isn’t. That’s what we’ve heard for decades. And mostly it’s true. However, scientists from Sweden recently revealed through a study that exercise doesn’t matter if you’re still overweight.
Or, well, it does, as long as you’re exercising to lose the weight. Or as long as you actually do lose the weight.
According to a new study performed by researchers from the Umeå University in Sweden, being overweight umm… outweighs the benefits of working out.
Peter Nordström led the study that focused on a sample of 1.3 million Swedish men, and followed them from 1969 to 1996. The subjects’ fitness levels were measured via an electrically braked cycle test throughout their lives, and their causes of death were determined using Swedish national registers.
Over the course of the study, 44,301 of the participants died. On a mean, the men noted to perform the most aerobic, and to be the slimmest, showed a 48% lower death rate than the ones with the least aerobic and the most overweight.
If we are to compare two people who perform high aerobic fitness, one of average weight, and one overweight, the overweight man has a 30% higher chance of death.
The highest death rates for the subjects were related to substance abuse, more specifically alcohol and narcotics, but lack of exercise and being overweight were still quite high up.
However, exercising regularly was definitely related to an overall decreased risk of death, both for normal and overweight people.
The study also showed something troubling, and that couldn’t be attributed to anything due to the observational nature of the study.
A connection was found between low aerobic fitness and death from trauma, and the researchers have no idea as to why.
This left the researchers to speculate that perhaps genetic factors have to do with both engaging in fitness and dying from trauma, so perhaps the two are related on a deeper level than initially anticipated.
This is a very strong argument in the detriment of observational studies, as being able to observe the existence of a connection between two factors can usually lead to more misinformation, unless a cause-effect link can be observed.
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