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September 8, 2017 - Fast food fan? This discovery might interest you: A new study from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) just demonstrated that high intensity exercise has the capacity to counteract the effects of eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This study, published in the scientific journal Nutrients, was realized by professors Antony D. Karelis, Christian Duval and Marc-Antoine Rouiller of the UQAM Department of Exercise Science, and Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret from Université de Montréal Department of Nutrition.

The findings shed new light on the role of high intensity exercise during a fast food diet (McDonald’s) on the health profile of young healthy men. Researchers found that high intensity interval training seems to protect, in large part, the metabolic profile (body composition, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and inflammation) against the potential negative effects of a fast food diet.

To realize the study, 15 young healthy men had to eat an exclusive McDonald’s diet (three extra value meals/day + optional snack) for 14 consecutive days. At the same time, they were asked to perform each day high intensity interval training (15 × 60 seconds sprint intervals) on a treadmill.

“The popular culture scene of fast food doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. So, for those who want to be protected from possible effects of a less than optimal diet could opt for high intensity exercises such interval training,” says Professor Antony D. Karelis, principal investigator of the study. The consumption of fast food has considerably increased during the last few decades. Approximately 36% of US adults consume fast foods during any day of the week. In fact, US adults eat ~11% of their total daily calories from fast foods, he says.

“Whether high intensity interval training is efficient in protecting the general population (e.g., women, less active individuals, and elderly) from a fast food diet should be studied in a larger population with longer interventions and diverse types of exercise training,” said Christian Duval, lead author of the study. “This research shows that it is important to educate health care professionals and the population in general regarding the potential protective effects of high intensity interval training against a fast food diet,” say both researchers. “Of course, this type of exercise should be done under the supervision of experts such as kinesiologists,” says Christian Duval.

Access full study for free at the following link:

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Dr. Antony D. Karelis and Dr. Christian Duval are available for interview.

For more information on the conception, design, methods, and conclusions of the study, please contact Dr. Antony D. Karelis: and 514 987-3000, ext. 5082.

For more information on the future direction of the study, please contact Dr. Christian Duval: and 514 987-3000, ext. 4440.

Source: Maude N. Béland, Press Relations Officer
Communications Service
Université du Québec à Montréal
Phone: 514 987-3000, ext. 1707



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