Journal of Applied Physiology

Effects of exercise and diet on chronic disease

Christian K. Roberts, R. James Barnard


Currently, modern chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, are the leading killers in Westernized society and are increasing rampantly in developing nations. In fact, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are now even commonplace in children. Clearly, however, there is a solution to this epidemic of metabolic disease that is inundating today’s societies worldwide: exercise and diet. Overwhelming evidence from a variety of sources, including epidemiological, prospective cohort, and intervention studies, links most chronic diseases seen in the world today to physical inactivity and inappropriate diet consumption. The purpose of this review is to 1) discuss the effects of exercise and diet in the prevention of chronic disease, 2) highlight the effects of lifestyle modification for both mitigating disease progression and reversing existing disease, and 3) suggest potential mechanisms for beneficial effects.

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • coronary artery disease
  • hypertension
  • metabolic syndrome
View Full Text