The Hong Kong Journal of Sports Medicine and Sports

Volume XIV, May 2002


National Hsinchu Teachers College, Taiwan

Total energy expenditure represents the sum of (1) resting energy expenditure for maintaining basic body functions (approximately 60 percent of total energy requirements); (2) the thermic effect of eating for digestion, absorption, transport, and deposition of nutrients (about 10 percent); and (3) nonresting energy expenditure, primarily in the form of physical activity (about 30 percent). This third component, nonresting energy expenditure, is the most important. Energy balance tilts to weight gain when disproportionately more energy is taken in; theoretically, about one pound (or 0.45 kg) of fat energy is stored for each 3,500 kilocalories of excess energy intake.

Having adequate activity is important for weight control. By using energy and maintaining muscle mass, physical activity is a useful and effective adjunct to dietary management for avoiding weight gain or losing weight. Regular physical activity appears to favorably affect distribution of body fat and increasie nonresting energy expenditure, and contributes to weight maintenance and weight reduction. Evidence supports the metabolic and physiological benefits of incorporating physical activity programs to prevent or manage obesity.

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