We probably already know this, but when study confirms what we already know and fine tunes our knowledge it gives us (or me anyway) an excuse to talk about it more.
A large study done on 18, 414 premenopausal woman followed over 16 years showed that more cycling = less weight gain and more weight loss, specifically cycling more than four hours per week. Even two to three hours per week had a significant positive effect on overweight and obese woman.
Walking also provided decreased weight gain or weight loss, so long as it wasn't too slow. Walking less than 3 mph, even if more time was added, had no weight loss benefit.
The researchers conclude that the more cycling woman do, the less weight they will gain, especially for overweight and obese woman. Most research is done on male subjects so it's good to see studies focusing on the response of woman.
So.. ride to work, ride for recreation, ride for fitness, ride for weight loss.
Just get out and ride :-)
Arch Intern Med -- Abstract: Bicycle Riding, Walking, and Weight Gain in Premenopausal Women, June 28, 2010, Lusk et al. 170 (12): 1050