DiscoverScience VsExercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?
Exercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?

Exercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?

Update: 2019-09-1923


Lots of people hit the gym to shed unwanted pounds, but they don’t always see results on the scale. This week, we tackle the power of exercise and why you should bother. We speak with obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, psychiatrist Dr. Gary Cooney, neuroscientist Prof. Wendy Suzuki and urologist Dr. Stacey Kenfield.

Check out the full transcript here:

UPDATE 10/31/19: An earlier version of this episode said that exercise isn’t a reliable treatment for depression. Some scientists reached out to us about clinical trials we missed. These newer trials found that exercise can help with depression. And we now think the research in this space is stronger than we made it sound. We’ve updated the episode.

Selected references: The study which looked at the effect of exercising 5 days a week for a year on weight:'s Cochrane review on the benefits of exercise for depression: study which found that exercise is linked to a lower risk of getting dementia: Stacey's study on exercise and prostate cancer: 

Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Lexi Krupp. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Joel Cox, Andrea Rangecroft, Natalie Jones, and Mark Totti. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Virginia Berridge, Professor James Blumenthal, Professor Kirk Erickson, Dr. Tara Walker, Dr. Shannon Halloway, Professor Steven Petruzzello, Dr. Kristine Beaulieu, Dr. Aric Sudicky and many others! A special thanks to the Emmanuel Dzotsi, Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

Comments (2)

Stephen Maloney

I feel like this episode was a myopic take on exercise, it lacked depth and breadth and largely felt stale of any meaningful information. The questions they ask are too general and the conclusions they come to are questionable. As an athlete, I disagree with the ethos of this episode.

Sep 24th

Nathan Miller

The conclusion regarding weight loss is faulty at best. Exercise absolutely can HELP with weight loss. When paired with a reasonable diet, it will help you lose weight. Exercise ON ITS OWN will not necessarily help you lose weight. You even mentioned the golden saying in your episode- "you can't outrun a bad diet."

Sep 24th








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Exercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?

Exercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?