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News

Keys to good health, diet, exercise and attitude

CSIRO : 03 October, 2006  (Technical Article)
The latest research into the health benefits associated with diet, exercise and personal attitude will be presented at this week
Leading CSIRO nutritionist, Dr Manny Noakes, will discuss the role of weight loss in disease prevention.

Weight loss can improve many of the risk factors for modern day diseases, but it is often undervalued as an important way to prevent disease.

However, the way that weight loss is achieved needs to be carefully considered, particularly in the older population, as some evidence indicates that weight loss in this group may not be beneficial.

“There is compelling evidence showing sensible weight loss that incorporates nutrient rich foods, adequate protein and a small amount of resistance training offers the best approach to reducing the risk of many diseases, most particularly type 2 diabetes.” Dr Noakes says.

CSIRO Human Nutrition researcher, Dr Grant Brinkworth, will address a recent finding that obese individuals with higher fitness levels are at reduced risk of cardiovascular disease than lean but unfit individuals.

“Current physical activity guidelines suggest adults should set a long-term goal to accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, and preferably all days for disease prevention,” Dr Brinkworth says.

“However, for weight control, even more activity is recommended. Strength training may also have benefits over and above those attainable from aerobic exercise alone by increasing strength and function.”

Dr Carlene Wilson, specialising in Consumer Science, says health protective behaviours, including but not just dietary choice, are influenced by risk perception, self belief, the perceived attitudes of others and even personality.

“The implications of these findings will be discussed in terms of suggested approaches to public health communication with a focus on both the content of, and channels by which, health messages might promote improved lifestyle choices,” Dr Wilson says.

“Our research suggests that improvements in the usability, accessibility and acceptability of web-based counselling and behavioural support provide a possible approach to improving health behaviour.
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