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A Comparison of the Eating and Exercise Patterns of Normal Weight and Overweight Women

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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The purpose of this study was to compare the eating and exercise patterns of normal weight NW and overweight OW women to empirically improve weight treatment guidelines. Participants--fifteen OW and 11 NW age-, education-, and ethnicity-matched women-recorded all foods eaten on handheld computers and activities for 2 weeks. Surprisingly, the groups total daily energy intake--kilojoules11kJ, fat, carbohydrates, and protein-- and the macronutrient compositions of meals were not significantly different, but OWs ate more frequently. NWs exercised more frequently each week 3-4 vs. 1-2 wk and more often in the evening, and exercised longer 2 hrs. vs. 45 min., increasing energy requirements to equal OWs. These data suggest that neither NWs nor OWs food intake follows the USDA recommendations, but NWs do exercise according to the USDA recommendations. Focusing on basic energy balance may be more effective than focusing on either energy intake or expenditure.

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