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Diet and exercise best way to lose weight

SEATTLE, April 16 (UPI) -- Diet and exercise are most effective for weight loss when done together, as opposed to just doing one or the other, U.S. researchers suggest.

Dr. Anne McTiernan, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, says a yearlong intervention involved 439 overweight-to-obese, sedentary, post-menopausal, Seattle-area women, ages 50-75, who were randomly assigned to one of four groups.

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The four categories were:

-- Exercise only, 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise per day, five days a week, three at the Hutchinson Center.

-- Diet only, of 1,200 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on starting weight and fewer than 30 percent of daily calories from fat.

-- Exercise and diet using the same goals as above.

-- No intervention.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, found the majority of women who dieted and exercised regularly lost an average of nearly 11 percent of their starting weight -- exceeding the study's goal of a 10 percent or more reduction in body weight.

"We were surprised at how successful the women were," McTiernan says in a statement. "Even though this degree of weight loss may not bring an obese individual to a normal weight, losing even this modest amount of weight can bring health benefits such as a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer."

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