Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, or the cyclical loss and gain of weight is associated with a higher death risk, researchers have warned.
A study found that this form of dieting leads to adverse health outcomes and 80 per cent of people who lose weight gradually regain either the same weight or even more than they had before going on a diet.
The Endocrine Society’s Scientific statement on the causes of obesity found that this was because once an individual loses weight, the body typically reduces the amount of energy expended at rest, during exercises and daily activities.
While it increases hunger, thereby creating conditions for weight gain.
“This study shows that weight cycling can heighten a person’s risk of death,” said Hak C. Jang, Professor from the Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, also showed that weight loss from weight cycling can reduce diabetes risk in people with obesity.
The health benefits of weight loss overshadowed the adverse effects of weight cycling for individuals with obesity looking to lower their diabetes risk.
“We also concluded that weight loss as a result of weight cycling can ultimately reduce the risk of developing diabetes in people with obesity,” Jang noted.
For the study, the team examined 3,678 men and women.
Yo-yo dieting or yo-yo effect is a term coined by Kelly D. Brownell at Yale University, in reference to the cyclical loss and gain of weight, resembling the up-down motion of a yo-yo.