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Walk to stop weight adding up

The more you walk, the less likely you’ll gain weight as you age, according to a new study.

The walking study

Researchers tracked 4,995 men and women over a 15 year period aged 18 to 30 years. They found that the average body weight and BMI (body mass index) increased over time, and physical activity and walking decreased.

However, those who walked more gained less weight, and lost or maintained weight as they got older.

This effect of walking was especially seen among heavy women. For example, 30 minutes of walking each day reduced the normal weight gain per year by 1 pound among women. That means the 30 minute walk each day meant 15 fewer added pounds over the 15 year study period.

What the researchers say

Researcher Penny Gordon-Larsen from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said, “Walking is of particular relevance because it is generally an affordable and accessible form of physical activity for most people.

She added, “If we can increase walking participation by Americans, the evidence is strong that we will improve not only weight control but overall public health.”

The results appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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