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5. Population nutrient intake goals for preventing diet-related chronic diseases: Previous page | 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27

The difference between the two recommendations results from the difference in their focus. A recent symposium on the dose-response relationships between physical activity and health outcomes found evidence that 30 minutes of moderate activity is sufficient for cardiovascular/metabolic health, but not for all health benefits. Because prevention of obesity is a central health goal, the recommendation of 60 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity is considered appropriate. Activity of moderate intensity is found to be sufficient to have a preventive effect on most, if not all, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases considered in this report. Higher intensity activity has a greater effect on some, although not all, health outcomes, but is beyond the capacity and motivation of a large majority of the population.

Both recommendations include the idea that the daily activity can be accomplished in several short bouts. It is important to point out that both recommendations apply to people who are otherwise sedentary. Some occupational activities and household chores constitute sufficient daily physical exercise.

In recommending physical activity, potential individual risks as well as benefits need to be assessed. In many regions of the world, especially but not exclusively in rural areas of developing countries, an appreciable proportion of the population is still engaged in physically demanding activities relating to agricultural practices and domestic tasks performed without mechanization or with rudimentary tools. Even children may be required to undertake physically demanding tasks at very young ages, such as collecting water and firewood and caring for livestock. Similarly, the inhabitants of poor urban areas may still be required to walk long distances to their jobs, which are usually of a manual nature and often require a high expenditure of energy. Clearly, the recommendation for extra physical activity is not relevant for these sectors of the population.

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5. Population nutrient intake goals for preventing diet-related chronic diseases: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27 | Next page

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