Movement and nutrition in health and disease


  • Klaus W. Lange



Movement and nutrition play a pivotal role in the promotion of long-term health and the prevention of chronic disease. Obesity and physical inactivity are among the leading causes of premature death, while lifestyle factors such as exercise and healthy eating can reduce the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Movement and nutrition may therefore be able to assist in the prevention and therapy of chronic diseases. Regular physical activity and better dietary choices are effective means of extending not only lifespan but also healthspan. Healthy nutrition is important throughout life, and diet is the most important risk factor of illness worldwide. Moreover, childhood obesity has become a global health crisis. While high body-mass index and high fasting plasma glucose contribute substantially to the rising burden of disease, they also provide promising opportunities for intervention. In addition, mounting evidence suggests vital relationships between nutritional quality and mental health. Approaches tackling dietary improvements include community-based health promotion, school-based interventions, mass media campaigns, open online platforms and policies sanctioning unhealthy food choices. The high prevalence of sedentary behavior and physical inactivity is a major health risk and a leading cause of death worldwide. The extensive health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well established. Exercise is a viable way to help prevent and combat many chronic diseases, and an increase in physical activity could markedly improve health worldwide. A challenge in this context is the promotion of an active lifestyle, including the initiation of and adherence to effective exercise and sport programs.