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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 360257, 11 pages
Review Article

Physical Activity Plays an Important Role in Body Weight Regulation

1Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, QC, Canada G1K 7P4

Received 29 April 2010; Accepted 29 June 2010

Academic Editor: Robert J. Ross

Copyright © 2011 Jean-Philippe Chaput et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Emerging literature highlights the need to incorporate physical activity into every strategy intended to prevent weight gain as well as to maintain weight loss over time. Furthermore, physical activity should be part of any plan to lose weight. The stimulus of exercise provides valuable metabolic adaptations that improve energy and macronutrient balance regulation. A tight coupling between energy intake and energy expenditure has been documented at high levels of physical exercise, suggesting that exercise may improve appetite control. The regular practice of physical activity has also been reported to reduce the risk of stress-induced weight gain. A more personalized approach is recommended when planning exercise programs in a clinical weight loss setting in order to limit the compensatory changes associated to exercise-induced weight loss. With modern environment promoting overeating and sedentary behavior, there is an urgent need for a concerted action including legislative measures to promote healthy active living in order to curb the current epidemic of chronic diseases.