Obesity is not all the same, on the contrary, there are different types that respond to different treatments. This is why a diet, intended as calorie restriction, has no effect in some people while in others it does. This emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the eBioMedicine magazine, which makes part of the prestigious newspaper The Lancet, thanks to the work of a Canadian team from the University of Ottawa (Pileggi et al, eBioMedicine, Aug 2022). Scientists have not limited themselves only to bringing out this important detail, but have also found the treatment that more than other treatments brings benefit in case of resistance to a low-calorie diet, exercise. But let's understand better.
Obesity, complications and treatments
Obesity is one of the major concerns nowadays. This is because of its spread and the complications it brings, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Until now, in the case of obesity, the approach has always been to adopt, without distinction, a low-calorie diet. However, the results are not always the same. Indeed, some people may experience real resistance to the low calorie diet, failing to shed the desired pounds. This has led Canadian scientists to develop the theory according to which not all obesity is the same, but that there are, indeed, different types that respond to different treatments.
The importance of exercise
To test this idea, scientists sifted through more than 5,000 data to isolate a group of obese women whose obesity was found to be resistant to a low-calorie diet. These women were then subjected to a different treatment. All the volunteers were asked to practice 3 sessions a week of physical activity. These sessions consisted of 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill, then followed by a resistance circuit. The experiment lasted six weeks and after each week the strain on the treadmill was increased. Well, what emerged was that physical exercise was able to increase muscle metabolism and the ability to lose body weight in those who were resistant to the low-calorie diet. Instead, by applying the same treatment to obese people who responded to the low-calorie diet by rapidly losing weight, physical activity was not able to show the same effectiveness.
As the study authors themselves indicate, if an obese person struggles to lose weight despite the low calorie diet, this does not mean that nothing can be done or that the person is not following the rules, but simply that he/she belongs to a group where exercise is more important than diet for weight loss. For others, however, the diet is more effective.