November 28, 2004

Guidelines for Obesity

GPs should prescribe different levels of activity for different groups of patients, the National Obesity Forum conference in London was told.

According to the chief medical officer's physical activity report, the recommended amount of exercise for most patients is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days a week.

This is enough to prevent obesity in most patients and will typically produce weight loss of 0.5 to 1 kg per month in obese patients who are not on a calorie-controlled diet.

However, Professor Ken Fox, of the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, told delegates that many obese patients will need to do 45-60 minutes of exercise each day to achieve any significant weight reduction.

He added that patients who had already lost weight might need to do between 60 and 90 minutes of exercise a day to avoid becoming obese again after their initial weight loss.

'We don't know if their metabolism may have changed while they were obese, but it is especially hard for patients who have already lost weight to prevent weight gain,' he said.

Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Nov 5, 2004