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Physical activity guidelines for weight loss: global and national perspectives
  1. Leon Mabire
  1. Correspondence to Leon Mabire, Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; leon.mabire{at}

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Obesity, an excess accumulation of fat mass, poses a significant health risk. A recent review of 1.8 million participants, using body mass index (BMI) as the main measure of adiposity, identified high BMI as the leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with each gain of one point in BMI, above a BMI of 25 kg/m2, equating to a 5% increase in the risk of NCDs.1 Physical activity is an integral component of a package of lifestyle change used to reduce obesity, but there are no global recommendations on the dose of physical activity required for weight loss for overweight and obese adults.

The challenge faced by policymakers is that physical activity confers a systemic physiological and metabolic response that is proportional to the stimulus, and that response is modified by individual variation in age, sex, ethnicity, weight, height, body composition and functional ability. In the absence of specific global recommendations on physical activity for weight loss …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.