a1 Unit of Cardiovascular risk, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Sevilla, Spain
a2 Endocrinology, and Nutrition and Dietetics Units, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201 Reus, Spain
a3 Centre Català de la Nutrició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, Spain
Obesity appears when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. The most important variable compound of energy expenditure is physical activity. The global epidemics of obesity seem closely related to reduced physical activity and sedentariness widely increasing nowadays. Once obesity has developed, caloric intake becomes similar to energy expenditure. To lose weight, besides decreasing energy intake, energy expenditure must be increased. The promotion of physical activity is difficult and so the results of treatment of obesity are discouraging for doctors, other health professionals and patients. Proactive efforts from patients and health providers with an intensive feedback between them may be extremely helpful. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to provide better approaches on the role of physical activity for the prevention and treatment of obesity and for long-term weight-loss maintenance.
(Received November 22 2006)
(Accepted April 2007)