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Lifestyle changes may not cure obesity: study

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A new study says exercise and diet aren’t really enough to change one’s body type.

Obesity is a chronic disease that diet and exercise may not fix, a new study says.

Once you’ve been obese for six months to a year, you’re likely to stay so, said Dr. Christopher Ochner, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who is the study’s lead author.

As a result, the generic recommendation for people with sustained obesity to change their lifestyle may not work.

“It may be no more effective for most individuals with obesity than a recommendation to avoid sharp objects for someone bleeding profusely,” Ochner said.

Eating right and working out may send heavy people into “obesity remission,” but only a few people permanently recover, Ochner said in a statement.

They may lose weight at first, but 80% to 95% of people gain it back.

Obese people — 35% of adults in the U.S. — may be “biologically very different from individuals of the same age, sex and body weight who never had obesity,” he added.

He said gastric bypass surgery is one of the only obesity treatments that works in the long term because it alters hormones related to appetite, in a sense changing how our brains react to food.

The study appeared in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

mengel@nydailynews.com

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health studies

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