While many people rely on regular exercise to “balance out” the effects of a diet heavy in carbs and sugar, that approach may not be enough to fight off obesity and diabetes, some experts are now saying.
While regular exercise does reduce your risk for diabetes(1), some researchers believe that diet is the main factor in obesity and diabetes risk, rather than physical inactivity.
Diet Makes An Impact – Even Without Weight Loss
A recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine outlines the reasons why you can’t simply outrun the health effects of a bad diet:
“A large econometric analysis of worldwide sugar availability revealed that for ever excess 150 calories of sugar, there was an 11-fold increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, in comparison to an identical 150 calories obtained from fat or protein. And this was independent of the person’s weight and physical activity level,” the editorial authors write(2).
“A recently published critical review in nutrition concluded that dietary carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the first approach in diabetes management, with benefits occurring even without weight loss.”
Who Benefits From Promoting Exercise Over Diet?
The editorial authors place the blame for “an unhelpful message about maintaining a healthy weight through calorie counting” on the shoulders of major players in the fast food and beverage industries.
Coca Cola in particular has sunk billions of dollars into a marketing campaign associating their products with physical activity, “suggesting it is ok to consume their drinks as long as you exercise.”
However, the authors feel that this message is “misleading and wrong.”