The three steps to weight loss are diet, exercise and will. The problem in obese patients in doing exercise has been now linked to GI problem. The study was conducted in Minnesota.
As part of the study nearly 1,000 men and women participating in a randomized trial evaluating three weight-loss programs in Minnesota were studied. The researchers found that associations between gastrointestinal symptoms, diet and exercise had implications in treatment of both obesity and gastrointestinal problems. According to psychologist Rona Levy, lead author of the study and a University of Washington professor of social work "the physiological mechanisms linking gastrointestinal symptoms, obesity and exercise still need to be determined." Her research focuses on common gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome in adults.
"Our main finding is that the amount of exercise people in a weight loss program do is related to gastrointestinal symptoms. In statistical terms, this means exercise is protective against gastrointestinal symptoms. This isn't surprising, but it has not been demonstrated before with this population. Science has now validated what people have been guessing. But we don't know if this is a 'did the chicken or the egg come first' kind of a thing. We are not sure which is the key, exercise or gastrointestinal symptoms. It is plausible that if a physician put a patient on an exercise program to lose weight the GI problems experienced might hamper the patient's ability to exercise." She said.
The results revealed the following problems that people had: 19 percent said they had abdominal pain, 13 percent had irritable bowel syndrome, 25 percent had diarrhea and 20 percent had bloating.
For data collection a larger two-year study evaluating telephone- and mail-based interventions for weight loss was used. Seventy percent of the 983 participants were women and all were classified as obese or overweight. Participants ranged in age from 20 to 89.
"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.