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June 23 2010

Physical Activity and Preventing Weight Gain in Women—Reply

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2475-2476. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.826

In Reply: We agree with the comments made by Dr Kahn. Weight control is challenging among persons who are overweight or obese. Our analyses of participants in the Women's Health Study indicated that over the 13 years of follow-up, higher levels of physical activity were not associated with less weight gain among overweight or obese women. These results are congruent with data from short-term randomized clinical trials, lasting 12 months or less, showing that physical activity alone—at least, in amounts tolerable for most individuals—has a limited effect on weight loss. A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials, including 1049 overweight or obese adults, compared exercise and diet interventions with diet-only interventions and found that trials with the additional exercise component resulted in only a modest added weight loss of 1.1 kg (95% confidence interval, 0.6-1.5 kg).1

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