High Levels of Exercise Don’t Offset the Harmful Effects of a Bad Diet

A study has revealed that higher physical activity levels don’t counteract the harmful effects of a bad diet on the risk of death.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105195

The study discovered that individuals with high physical activity levels as well as a high-quality diet had the lowest mortality risk.

The study looked at the independent and combined effects of diet and physical activity on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality making use of a sample of 360,600 individuals from the UK Biobank, a large-scale cohort study that contains the participants’ health, behavioral, and biological information.

High-quality diets included a minimum of 5 vegetable and fruit portions each day, 2 fish portions each week, and reduced red meat consumption, especially processed meat.

In individuals with high levels of physical activity as well as a high-quality diet, the risk of death was reduced by 27% from selected cancers, 19% from cardiovascular disease, and 17% from all causes, in comparison to individuals who were physically inactive with the worst diet.

According to the researchers, regular physical activity as well as a healthy diet play a significant part in promoting longevity and health. Some individuals might think they can balance out the harmful effects of a bad diet with higher exercise levels or balance out the effects of low physical activity with a high-quality diet, but the data clearly shows that this isn’t the case.

Sticking to both a quality diet and adequate physical activity is important for the optimal reduction in mortality risk from cancers, cardiovascular disease, and all causes.

A few studies have previously shown that high-intensity exercise can help counteract detrimental physiological responses to over-eating.

The long-term impact on how physical activity and diet interact with each other has however not been extensively examined. These study results validate the importance of both quality diet and physical activity in cause-specific and all-cause mortality.

The study reinforces the importance of both quality diet and physical activity for achieving the maximum reduction in risk of death.

Diet Vs Execise Infographic

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