A new study has just released its findings and yes, your daily diet or food intake of choice, is way more important than that 20 minute run round the block. Eat right, lose 10kg. It’s that simple.

New Zealanders’ expanding waistlines have far more to do with overeating than with lack of exercise, a controversial new study contends. The international research has highlighted the disagreement over the causes of the obesity epidemic. The study, based partly on United States food supply statistics, calculated that the average weight of adults today should be 10.8kg more than 30 years ago. In fact it was 8.6kg more in the US and the increase in New Zealand would be similar, said a study author, Professor Elaine Rush, of the Auckland University of Technology.

The authors believe increases in physical activity may have prevented people gaining the full 10.8kg. The study used medical sample results from more than 2000 people, including 111 New Zealanders, to find the energy-burning rates needed to maintain stable adult weight and normal child growth.

Professor Rush said the study showed how much the population – especially in the most-deprived areas, where obesity was more prevalent – needed to cut back to return to the average weights of the 1970s. “Children would have to cut their intake by about 350 calories a day – equal to one can of fizzy drink and a small chocolate bar, and adults 500 calories – the equivalent of a large burger.” Similar results could be achieved by children walking for an extra 150 minutes a day and adults an extra 110 minutes, but this was unrealistic, she said.

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