GI trouble may prevent overweight from exercising

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 2, 2006

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Obesity increases the risk of abdominal pain and diarrhea, but physical activity appears to reduce these kinds of digestive problems, according to a study published in the October 2005 issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers surveyed nearly a thousand patients participating in a study of interventions to promote weight loss about daily food intake, physical activity and gastrointestinal symptoms. A lack of physical activity most strongly correlated with an increased risk of digestive difficulties, and the authors suggest exercise might provide protection against trouble in this area.

This finding also might mean GI symptoms block those who are obese from getting the physical activity they need.

"It is plausible that if a physician put a patient on an exercise program to lose weight, the GI problems experienced might hamper the patient's ability to exercise," said Rona Levy, PhD, MPH, lead author and a professor of social work at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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