A recent study showed that yo-yo dieting endangers the health of women, the weight oscillations taking a toll on their hearts. Researchers discovered that the incidence of heart disease among premenopausal women considerably rose among those who went through weight cycling.
According to the paper presented during the 2016 edition of the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, weight cycling is becoming a matter of global concern.
Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, is the result of constant weight loss associated with immediate weight gain. Until now, there hasn’t been enough information on the health hazards of yo-yo dieting, but scientists were convinced that the practice is not safe for women.
In order to learn more about weight cycling and its effects on women’s health, Somwail Rasla and his team analyzed 158/063 post-menopausal subjects. The women were divided into four main categories: those who had a stable weight, those who gain weight at a steady level, those who lost weight, and those whose weight cycled.
The participants were monitored for over eleven years, the team constantly checking on the weight and health of the women.
According to the results of the survey, the women who were categorized as being “normal weight” at the beginning of the test period who lost and then regained weight were almost four times more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest than those who maintained a constant weight.
Moreover, yo-yo dieting was linked to a 66 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disorder deaths. However, it seemed that normal-weight women’s health was more affected by weight cycling than that of obese or overweight women.
Furthermore, women who gained weight and kept it or women who lost weight and kept it leveled were also safe from any risks of developing cardiac disorders.
Researchers also found that women who are overweight during their adulthood have increased chances of dying from heart-related illnesses. The most prevalent disorders are coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest. Both are triggered by a blockage in the heart vessels caused by excess fat.
While the results are certainly interesting, the study does have some loose ends. For one, it was an observational study, meaning that it can only show a link between the two, not establish a cause and effect relation. Another flaw is the fact that the researchers based the study on self-reports, a method that allows the inclusion of certain scientific inaccuracies.
More research is needed before scientists are able to say for sure that yo-yo dieting triggers life-threating life-disorders. In the meantime, doctors are advising women to eat healthy, exercise, and manage blood pressure and cholesterol.
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