Diet and exercise 'contribute equally to heart health'

26 August 2016

Good dietary habits and regular exercise have equal parts to play in ensuring a person's heart health, according to new research.

A study from St Louis University split a cohort of 52 overweight middle-aged men and women into three groups - those who dieted, exercised or did both. The participants were then challenged to lose about seven per cent of their body weight over 12 to 14 weeks.

Those who exclusively dieted or exercised were respectively told to decrease their food intake by 20 per cent or increase their activity levels by 20 per cent. Those who did both, meanwhile, ate ten per cent less and exercised ten per cent more.

All three strategies were shown to be equally effective in improving cardiovascular health and were expected to reduce the lifetime risk of developing heart disease by ten percentage points, from 46 per cent to 36 per cent.

Study lead author Dr Edward Weiss, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at St Louis University, said: "Our findings don't preclude the possibility that dieting and exercise have additive effects for reducing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease."

Posted by Edward Bartel


Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)