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Clinical obesity | Causes | Prevention | Morbid obesity | Exercise | Problems | Epidemic | Obesity in the UK | Diseases | Childhood obesity | Weight loss surgery | Diabetes and obesity

There has been some debate whether exercise alone can prevent, or effectively address, obesity. Can a regular exercise routine control your waistline, regardless of your diet?

The answer, in theory, is yes. Exercise alone can beat obesity. The problem is that the amount of exercise most people would need to do on a a daily basis, is unrealistic.

Unless, exercise is combined with at least a moderately healthy diet, it's highly unlikely to be sufficient to address obesity in the majority of overweight individuals.

Nevertheless, exercise is a key part of losing weight. The best weight loss results are achieved through combining a healthy diet with a healthy lifestyle.

However, in almost all case of obesity, the main culprit of excess weight is food. We get fat because we consume too many calories. We eat the wrong types of foods, and we eat too much of it.

Exercise can help you burn a sizeable percentage of these calories. But if you're eating too much junk food, takeaways, processed food, sweets and cakes, no amount of exercise is likely to balance this equation.

The first step in tackling obesity should be improving an individual's diet. Exercise is an excellent second step but it cannot provide the answer on its own.

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