Studies & White Papers

Effects of exercise and diet on chronic disease

This review explores the evidence in favor of diet and exercise for the prevention and management of chronic disease.

Overweight and obesity affect roughly 60% of the population, creating an enormous burden of both chronic disease and economic impact. As such, many clinicians are now facing the “war on chronic disease.” The review notes that changes to diet and exercise can mitigate the progression of chronic disease and even reverse existing conditions.

In particular, research suggests that one hour of daily physical activity combined with a natural food diet can prevent “the vast majority” of chronic diseases. The diseases that are preventable with diet and exercise highlighted in the review are:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Cancer including Prostate, Breast, and Colon Cancer

Regarding the scientific findings on diet, the study also notes: “Given the ineffectiveness of popular weight-loss diets, adoption of a healthy lifestyle is more appropriate for winning the war against chronic disease.”




Effects of exercise and diet on chronic disease
Christian K. Roberts and R. James Barnard
Journal of Applied Physiology 2005 98:1, 3-30

Published on January 22, 2005