While only 17 men & 18 women average 40yo completed 24 weeks of training, their fasting glucose dropped from 91.1mg/dL down to 75.1mg/dL, their fasting insulin dropped from 14.1uIU/mL down to 5.5uIU/mL, and their HgbA1c dropped by 0.53% in 6 months. More impressively, their mean blood pressure dropped from 138/90mm Hg down to 123/76mm Hg within the first 5 weeks by which time all were off their diabetes & blood pressure medications. And average percentage body fat dropped from 48% down to 30% which is more than can be expected from gastric bypass surgery!
participants watched 5-6 hours of TV daily although, to their credit, they also exercised approximately 120 minutes each week, close to standard recommendations. During the show, their TV & computer time dropped down to just 1-2 hours/day (that excludes me!) while they engaged in 4 hours of exercise daily: 1 hour of intense aerobics, 2 hours of moderate aerobics, and 1 hour of intense resistance training. In other words, exercise became their part-time job! And while doing so, they consumed at least 70% of their estimated resting daily energy expenditure.
Newsweek recently published an article suggesting that obesity isn't as simple as calories in vs calories out. Apparently, exercise isn't as important as eating the appropriate foods while avoiding high fructose corn syrup. While I agree that refined sugars and high glycemic foods should best be left off the grocery list, I can't help but believe that exercise is still a necessary component of a healthy weight loss program. Now, if we could only set our priorities to make the time & effort these Biggest Loser participants did.