Sydney: Fitness is the best medicine to prevent and manage chronic disease, a leading cause of deaths worldwide.
"Obesity is just a symptom of an underlying disease-sedentary lifestyle. It is low fitness which is killing us, not being overweight," said Robert Newton, professor at the Edith Cowan University School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences.
Newton cited the current battle against obesity as ineffective in curbing rising rates of chronic disease as well as the associated costs while addressing a conference of Sports Medicine Australia.
"Exercise is the most effective medicine for the prevention and management of chronic disease, a problem that`s responsible for around 80 percent of our healthcare expenditure," Newton says, according to an Edith Cowan statement.
"The risk of mortality of someone who is normal weight but unfit is about three times higher than the mortality risk of someone who is obese but fit," he adds.
Large-scale studies show prescribed exercise can produce the same medical outcomes as leading pharmaceutical agents in the treatment of diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.
"A prescribed exercise campaign produces the same increase in breast cancer survival rates as the leading chemotherapy agent, without the nasty side effects," Newton says.