Despite its obvious health benefits, exercise does not automatically offset calories consumed and lead to weight loss.
Professor Neil King, Acting Assistant Dean at QUT's Faculty of Health, said there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to exercise and diet.
"A major cause of weight gain and poor success with weight loss is non-evidence-based information and misperceptions about exercise and diet," said Professor King who tonight presents his keynote speech - Quashing the Myths about Exercise, Dieting and Weight Loss - at Australia's first Global Weight Management Congress, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre 7-9 May.
"Eating and physical activity are two critical factors when it comes to body weight but the way in which individuals respond to exercise varies.
"Exercise has many benefits but it does not always result in weight loss and if you overcompensate with food beyond what your body needs, it will undo the good work.
"Of course evidence shows that exercise can cause a reduction in body weight and body fat but it is not a silver bullet."
According to the Federal Government's Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost two in every three Australian adults (63 per cent) and one in four children are overweight or obese.
On an international level, the World Health Organisation states obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese, and that globally, 42 million preschool children were overweight in 2013.
"We have all heard someone complain about the person who can eat whatever they want and never put on a kilo while others feel that all they have to do is look at food to put on weight. Then there is the fact that exercise quite often makes you hungry," Professor King said.
"For health professionals and researchers to optimise the success of exercise as a weight management tool, we need to educate people and quash the everyday myths about it.
"Appetite control, for example, and the choice of food eaten play an equally significant role in weight gain or loss. If you eat less and avoid junk food and excess sugar it is going to have a positive impact on your waistline."
Professor King's talk will examine questions including the following:
•Why do some people respond to exercise and others don't?
•Is weight management the only benefit of exercise?
•Why does he lose weight and I don't?
•What's the point of exercising if it makes me hungry?
•How much weight loss should I expect with exercise?
Professor King co-ordinates the Human Appetite Research Centre at QUT and is internationally recognised as a researcher in physical activity, appetite control and energy balance.
Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449, email@example.com
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