Weight cycling, popularly known as ‘yo-yo diet’, is trending these days as many celebrities try it. This diet is characterised by cyclical loss and gain of weight, resembling the ‘up’ and ‘down’ movement of yoyo. This effect has various reasons. But often, it results from extreme diets that are not sustainable.
But emerging research suggests that yo-yo diet may not be good for you after all. According to a new study, women who follow the yo-yo diet are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from cardiac disease than women who have much more stable diet. Yo-yo dieters also had a 66 per cent increased risk for coronary heart disease deaths, the findings suggest.
The study involved 158,063 postmenopausal women. They were of normal weight at the start and followed for the next 11.4 years. The participants were divided into several categories, such as stable weight, steady gain, maintained weight loss, and weight cycling.
According to Dr Somwail Rasla, the lead author of the study and internal medicine resident at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, ’cycling’ from high to low weight and back was of increasing concern to health scientists. She notes, however, that their observational study only showed association and not a cause and effect.
But he concluded: ’Weight cycling during adulthood in post-menopausal women may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death as well as coronary heart disease mortality.’
’This association appears strongest in normal BMI women.’
The new research suggests that being overweight in midlife increases the risk of dying from two types of heart disease: coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.
Other experts have the same view on yo-yo diet. Some think that women with fluctuating gain may be disguising some underlying illness, and these same illnesses may also in turn increase heart disease risks.
Heart disease remains to be the biggest killer in the UK and other countries. In Britain, heart disease is responsible for 73,000 deaths per year.
The new findings were presented before the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.
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Don’t yo-yo diet like Oprah Winfrey! Women who repeatedly put on and lose lots of weight have a 66% higher chance of dying from heart disease
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