Study Suggest Diet and Exercise Equal For Weight Loss..
Gang, I have a feeling many of you have seen this report, or one like it, floating around on the ‘net right now regarding a study that (supposedly) found diet or exercise takes off weight equally? Although the media often does a poor job of reporting on nutritional research accurately, they do a truly terrible job of it here. However, it’s not totally their fault as the researcher themselves totally missed the mark on the results of their own study, which is not uncommon BTW.
I have the full paper and it’s not as bad as that press release, but it’s close. It’s an example of a study that is very well done, but the underlying assumptions are wrong, so they come to all the wrong conclusions from the results they got, and stranger, made comments on results they didn’t actually test for!
Shock of all shocks, they put people on low intensity aerobics (and allowed the people to pick their own intensity levels no less!), and a low protein diet (15%) and found it didn’t preserve LBM compared to diet alone. Great, so they confirmed what we all know: low protein diets and aerobics are terrible as a method of fat loss.
It does not prove in any way that exercise and diet are equally effective for fat loss! As usual, the form of exercise is ignored as are macro nutrient ratios, which studies find repeatedly have effects on preserving LBM as well as other effects(1). Thus, why diets low in protein and lacking any resistance training are a terrible – though typical – method of losing fat and protecting LBM.
(1) Higher Protein Intake Preserves Lean Mass and Satiety with Weight Loss in Pre-obese and Obese Women
Obesity 15:421-429 (2007)