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Fit or Fat Research Update

Improving cardiorespiratory fitness offers health benefits for people with obesity.

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Fitness and weight research

A recent research review supports the value of fitness, regardless of weight loss outcomes, for people who are overweight or have obesity. A study by researchers from University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School in New Orleans, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and Steven N. Blair, PED, MS, professor emeritus at the Prevention Research Center, University of South Carolina in Columbia, found that increasing aerobic fitness levels among people with obesity appeared to demonstrate larger health improvements than either dieting or weight loss, regardless of underlying comorbidities.

The findings are available in Current Obesity Reports (2020; 10.1007/s13679-020-00403-z).

See also: More Long-Term Aerobic Fitness Benefits


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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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