Weight Gain From Yo-Yo Dieting
Yo-yo dieting may make it harder for women to control a variety of heart disease risk factors, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2019, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population-based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
“Achieving a healthy weight is generally recommended as heart healthy but maintaining weight loss is difficult and fluctuations in weight may make it harder to achieve ideal cardiovascular health,” said Brooke Aggarwal, Ed.D., M.S., senior author of the study and assistant professor of medical sciences at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
Investigators studied 485 women (average age 37 years, 61 percent racial/ethnic minorities, average body mass index 26, in the overweight range) participating in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network at Columbia University in New York City.
Most of the women (73 percent) reported at least one episode of yo-yo weight loss, with a range of zero to 20 episodes. Researchers found that women with one or more episodes of yo-yo weight loss were: 82 percent less likely to have an optimal body mass index (between 18.5 and 25, neither underweight or overweight for their height);
“We hope to extend the study five to ten years to confirm these results and look at long-term effects,” Aggarwal said. “However, there has been prior research that showed similar results in men, with those who weight-cycled having twice the risk of cardiovascular death in middle age.”