Sydney: Overweight people should exercise rather than count kilos if they want to reduce their risk of liver disease, diabetes and cardiovascular problems according to new research from the University of Sydney. The study published in the Journal of Hepatology reveals aerobic exercise, regardless of amount or intensity, can reduce dangerous fat stores in the liver and abdominal organs without weight loss.
Lead researcher Dr Nathan Johnson
from the Faculty of Health Sciences said weight loss is the most common
prescription for conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but
keeping the kilos off is difficult for most people.
certainly encourage weight loss and a healthy diet, but the key finding
from this study is that both liver and visceral fat can be reduced
without weight loss, through regular exercise," Dr Johnson said.
study also shows that most popular aerobic exercise regimes are
effective which means we can tailor exercise programs to suit people's
Around 60 percent of Australians are overweight or obese in the
abdominal region which increases risk of excessive fat deposits in the
liver, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The latest research suggests that fatty liver may be even more dangerous
than visceral fat in predicting adverse health outcomes.
important that people understand that it's not necessarily how much you
weigh, but where the excess fat is stored in the body that will put you
on a fast-track to poor health," said Dr Johnson.
"We now know
that fat deposits in these regions are a catalyst for type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, further complications with the liver and even
The study compared the effect of various common aerobic exercise
regimens on improving liver and visceral fat in overweight and obese
people who had Inactive lifestyles.
All exercising groups showed significant improvements in liver fat of around 18-29 percent after eight weeks.
Dr Johnson said the study aimed to identify the best intensity and
frequency of exercise for these health conditions and researchers were
surprised to find little difference in the benefits gained from
"Even the exercise group which didn't meet
recommended levels of weekly physical activity recorded some significant
improvements which shows a lot of promise for this type of lifestyle
intervention," said Dr Johnson.
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