NEW YORK — New research suggests that political campaigning is more likely to make people overeat than physical activity, even though it can be beneficial for people who are obese, according to a study of more than 1,000 adults.
Researchers found that the more overweight a person was, the more likely they were to eat unhealthy food or use other unhealthy methods to cope.
The results suggest that physical activity could be an effective strategy for weight management, even if people who have obesity don’t exercise.
Dr. David Steinberg, a clinical professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, said the findings should be a wake-up call for politicians who are promoting policies that encourage more physical activity to reduce the burden of obesity.
“The notion that the physical activity of obesity-prone individuals is going to be an easy fix to the obesity epidemic is completely false,” Steinberg said.
For years, obesity has been a major public health problem in the United States, and Americans spend more on health care and healthcare services for obese people than for the general population.
But, Steinberg noted, the findings may be even more relevant in an election year, when Americans are increasingly choosing between a Republican and a Democratic candidate who supports policies that discourage physical activity.
Steinberg’s study is part of a growing body of research linking obesity to higher rates of illness and death.
In the study, published in the journal Obesity, researchers looked at how often participants ate unhealthy food and used other methods to deal with the excess weight.
They looked at the health care spending habits of more that 1,300 adults ages 20 to 69 who had never smoked, were moderately overweight or obese, and had no previous medical conditions, including diabetes or heart disease.
While many of the participants were healthy and ate healthy foods, their eating patterns were influenced by their weight status.
They ate less and had fewer physical activities, for example, than the general public, which consumed an average of nearly three hours a day of physical activity and exercised five times a week.
Overall, they ate nearly twice as many unhealthy foods as the public, Steinber said.
“The more overweight the individual was, or the more physically active the individual had, the higher their risk of being overweight,” Steinber wrote.
“This increased risk of obesity was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of using unhealthy food to deal, or to compensate for, excess weight.”
The researchers also looked at a set of behaviors that may contribute to obesity, including unhealthy dieting and smoking, which were associated with being overweight or severely obese.
The findings showed that unhealthy dieters were also more likely than those who didn’t use unhealthy methods such as exercise to report that they were physically active.
Another important factor that may be related to the association between obesity levels and health outcomes is the number of days that people spent at least part of their day exercising, the researchers said.
People who were obese were at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.
This research is the latest in a long line of studies linking obesity with unhealthy diet and exercise.
In 2015, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, and a new study from the University of Minnesota and Harvard University found that people who smoke had higher odds of developing diabetes.
However, researchers said this latest study may provide some new insights into how obesity might affect the health of people who exercise.
“There’s a lot of evidence that people are at increased risk for disease, but we know very little about the biological mechanisms behind that risk,” Steinbach said.
“There are a lot more studies to be done.”
For more information about obesity, visit the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html or the Mayo Foundation Health website at: https://www,mohawkinsfoundation.org/index1.html?pageid=2639&id=2