Yo-Yo Dieting Poses Risks for Heart Patients
Research suggests that losing weight, gaining it back, taking it off again, and so on—commonly called yo-yo dieting—isn’t healthy. Now, a new international study shows it can double the risk for heart attack and stroke in people with existing heart disease.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data collected over several years. It involved 9,509 people with significant heart disease who were part of a clinical trial testing a new cholesterol-lowering statin drug.
Over the course of about five years, study participants who had the highest fluctuations in weight—8.6 pounds, on average—had twice the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, as people with weight fluctuations of fewer than two pounds over the same period. According to researchers, large weight fluctuations are also associated with a higher risk for new-onset diabetes. These increased risks may be related to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
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