It could be a catch-22 situation for some overweight people—they cannot reduce weight by exercise due to gastrointestinal problems.
Doctors treating overweight or obese patients often prescribe exercise as part of a regime to take off pounds.
But researchers led by psychologist Rona Levy at the University of Washington have found that some people's ability to exercise may be hampered by a variety of gastrointestinal problems that frequently affect individuals who are overweight, science portal EurekAlert reported.
The researchers studied nearly 1,000 men and women participating in a randomized trial evaluating three weight-loss programs in Minnesota.
People in the study reported experiencing a variety of problems: 19 percent said they had abdominal pain, 13 percent had irritable bowel syndrome, 25 percent had diarrhea and 20 percent had bloating.
"This study is another argument for exercise. Even though anyone engaging in a weight-loss program should know that gastrointestinal symptoms may impede their ability to exercise, those symptoms may also be alleviated by exercise," said Levy.