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Abstract

Physical inactivity and obesity contribute enormously to the current burden of disease in Australia, as in all Western Countries. Although diet and exercise have been linked to health since antiquity, the connection has recently experienced a revival of interest. There is mounting evidence that the current prevalence of obesity is more closely related to decreases in energy expenditure than to the traditionally accepted imbalance between consumption and expenditure, and that physical activity is therefore crucial in maintaining weight loss. With overweight[1] and obesity[2] now the norm in Australia, physical inactivity is a major issue within and beyond the health sector, and should be a concern of all health practitioners. This paper provides an overview of the relationship between obesity and physical inactivity and reflects on some strategies for increasing physical activity in the obese. More research on effective strategies to promote physical activity in all its forms (eg. exercise, transportation and incidental activity) is needed.

[1] Body Mass Index (BMI) >25. (BMI = weight(kg)/height2(m)) [2] Body Mass Index > 30.

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