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- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)
At a public debate in May on the relative importance of exercise and diet in battling obesity, Yoni Freedhoff began his opening arguments with some basic physics.
“There’s no debate about whether the laws of thermodynamics exist,” said Dr. Freedhoff, the medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, so weight loss ultimately depends on burning more calories than you consume. But which side of that equation should you focus on? [READ THE FULL ARTICLE]
The basic finding of the new study is that the more you exercise, the weaker the link between diet and weight. I exchanged a few e-mails with Yoni Freedhoff (of Weighty Matters fame) about this idea, and his initial reaction was that the findings could be interpreted as simply the result of calories burned while running. After all, running 8 km per day (as the “top” group in the analysis does) burns quite a few calories. I tend to think that there’s more going on here (as I explain in the article), but I’d certainly be interested in hearing what others think. Am I making too big a deal about something that’s completely obvious?