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Weight Cycling

Adverse Effects of Weight Cycling

Although the health consequences suffered by those who repeatedly lose and gain weight need further exploration, at least one study has found serious adverse effects of such weight cycling (yo-yo dieting).

American and Swedish researchers analyzed weight fluctuations and later health problems over a period of 32 years in more than 3,000 participants in the ongoing Framingham Health Study.

The researchers found that people (yo-yo dieters) who repeatedly lose and regain weight have an overall higher death rate. They also may be at greater risk of heart disease and some cancers than those whose weight remains stable or steadily increases, even if they are overweight.

In addition, programs that claim rapid weight loss, which rarely are successful over the long-term, can cause depression, anger and bingeing. Those who attempt such programs may ultimately regain weight faster and weight more than when they initially started.

The NIH panel underscored the importance of being realistic when selecting any personal weight management strategy. It takes time to gain weight, so losing it will take time as well. Modest goals and a slow, steady course of weight loss will maximize the probability of both losing weight and keeping it off.In the end, the panel advised that individuals should view their weight loss goals as part of an overall long-term strategy to achieve a healthier life.

SOURCE: www.primusweb.com, 2002

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