Which Is More Effective For Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight: Diet or Exercise?

Pescatello, Linda S. Ph.D., FACSM, CPD; Volpe, Stella Lucia Ph.D., R.D., FACSM; Clark, Nancy M.S., R.D., FACSM

Features: CEC Self-Test

Learning Objective: To discuss the merits of diet, exercise, or both for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.

As a nation, America continues to get heavier. While both diet and exercise are important strategies for maintaining a healthy body weight, the authors address the debate over which strategy is more important.

Linda S. Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, CPD, is an associate professor of Health Promotion and director of the Center for Health Promotion at the University of Connecticut. She holds joint appointments in the Departments of Kinesiology, Nutritional Sciences, and Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut and is a research associate in the Department of Health Promotion at New Britain General Hospital. Her research focuses on the physiologic and genetic explanations of the health benefits of physical activity.

Stella Lucia Volpe, Ph.D, R.D., FACSM, is an associate professor and the Miriam Stirl Term Endowed chair in Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania. She also is an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, where she was on faculty from 1994 to 2003, until taking the position at the University of Pennsylvania in January 2004. Her research focuses on obesity, body composition, and mineral metabolism and exercise.

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Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., FACSM, is director of Nutrition Services at SportsMedicine Associates in Brookline, MA, and author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Third Edition. Most of her counseling hours are spent teaching weight management skills to fitness exercisers and competitive athletes.

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© 2004 American College of Sports Medicine