An Iowa State University researcher is hoping to give the Centers for Disease Control a better idea of how much exercise people are actually getting. Gregory Welk says people don’t have a good idea of what they’re doing to manage their weight.
Welk says people tend to underestimate how many calories they consume and overestimate how much exercise they’re getting, so his research will help develop error models that can better estimate physical activity levels. Welk says his research focuses on the exercise people are doing.
He says they have a measurement from a very advance activity monitor that participants wear which monitors activity and the heat produced to give an actual measurement of activity compared to what people report. Welk says his measurement is designed to help federal officials serve groups of people as they address the obesity epidemic.
Welk says it’s very difficult to measure both diet and physical activity, and that is needed to develop interventions and public strategies for dealing with obesity. He says this will help in keeping track of physical activity and be valuable in assessing the health of people. Welk says keeping track of exercise is important to maintaining healthy lifestyles.
Welk says there’s no magic silver bullet as physical activity and healthy diet are the two keys for long-term weight control, and he says the key is helping people with both. Welk is leading a team of Iowa State researchers on the four-year project that’s funded by a $616,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.