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Yo-yo Diets Don’t Hinder Long-term Weight Loss

Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 11:19 AM


Yo-yo diets have a bad rap as ineffective and inconsistent ways to shed pounds. But new research has found people who cycle between higher and lower body weights don’t suffer any lasting ill effects on their metabolism or face greater difficulty losing weight in the long run than people with more stable levels of body fat.
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said their study, published online in the journal Metabolism, is the first to show that a history of yo-yo dieting – the repetitive loss and regain of body weight, also called weight cycling – does not have negative impacts on long-term weight loss or metabolism.
"A history of unsuccessful weight loss should not dissuade an individual from future attempts to shed pounds or diminish the role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in successful weight management," said lead researcher Dr. Anne McTiernan, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division.
The Hutchinson study was based on an analysis of 439 overweight-to-obese, sedentary Seattle-area women, ages 50 to 75. The women were randomly assigned to one of four groups: those placed on a reduced-calorie diet; women pushed to exercise (mainly brisk walking); those who adhered to a reduced-calorie diet plus exercise; and a group that received no intervention.
About 18 percent (77) of the women in the study had a history of severe weight cycling (losing 20 or more pounds on three or more occasions) and 24 percent (103 women) met the criteria for moderate weight cycling (losing 10 or more pounds on three or more occasions).
At the end of the yearlong study, participants on the diet-only and diet-plus-exercise arms lost an average of 10 percent of their starting weight. The results also showed that there were no significant differences between those who yo-yo dieted and those who didn't, when it came to losing weight through diet and/or exercise programs.
"To our knowledge, no previous studies have examined the effect of prior weight cycling on the body composition, metabolic and hormonal changes induced by a comprehensive lifestyle intervention in free-living women," the researchers concluded.
About two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. Obesity is a known risk factor for many cancers as well as heart disease and diabetes.
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the Canadian Institutes of Health funded the research.


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Yo-yo diets don't cause any lasting ill effects on metabolism or the ability to shed pounds in the long run.
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2012-19-04
Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 11:19 AM
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