Year In Review. Technology Management. Sponsored Research. Instruction & Public Service. MU Research.

NIH to Fund Four-Years Study of Fitness and Lifestyle

Even as scientists point to research data indicating over-weight people face reduced life expectancy, they acknowledge that up to 75 percent of participants in weight-loss programs regain the pounds they lose, a circumstance that could leave them even less healthy than before. Can people become healthier without dieting? Tom Thomas, a professor of nutritional sciences at MU, is working to find out.

Thomas received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how changes in lifestyle, specifically exercise and nutrition, relate to cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He and his colleagues Pam Hinton, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences; Craig Stump, an assistant professor of endocrinology; Scott Rector, a doctoral student in exercise physiology; and several student researchers will use data from 100 study participants to determine whether physical activity can offset the detrimental effects of weight gain. "We hypothesize that the study will show that as long as people exercise they can remain healthy even if they gain weight," Thomas says. "Society overemphasizes body weight; we think it might be healthier to emphasize physical activity. The benefits of physical activity could outweigh the detriments of being overweight and weight gain."

text size A A

Related Links

National Institutes of Health