The Risks of Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-yo dieting may increase heart disease risk

(RxWiki News) Yo-yo dieting may be linked to more risks than just regaining the lost weight.

According to the American Heart Association, yo-yo dieting may be linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease. This risk was seen in women who had gone through menopause and were not overweight when the study began.

Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, is marked by fluctuations in weight as a result of dieting.

"Weight cycling is an emerging global health concern associated with attempts of weight loss, but there have been inconsistent results about the health hazards for those who experience weight cycling behavior," said lead study author Dr. Somwail Rasla, an internal medicine resident at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, in a press release.

The researchers behind the current study sorted more than 158,000 women who had gone through menopause into four categories: stable weight, steady gain, maintained weight loss and weight cycling.

After a follow-up of 11.4 years, these researchers found that the women who were in the weight-cycling (yo-yo) category and were of normal weight had an increased risk for coronary heart disease death and were at a higher risk for sudden cardiac death. 

This study only showed an association — not a cause and effect — which is a limitation of the findings. Also, sudden cardiac death could have occurred by chance in some cases. 

The researchers behind this study called for more research on the subject. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about how to implement a healthy eating plan.

This research has not been published but was presented recently at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016. Research that has not yet been published is considered preliminary.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded this study. Information about potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.