According to a new study, the so-called “yo-yo diet” may do more harm than good for people with heart conditions. Especially for individuals with coronary heart disease. Frequent weight fluctuations can increase the risks of strokes, heart attacks, and possibly even death.
This new study was carried out by Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York researchers. They published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Yo-Yo Dieting Can Increase Health Risks For People With Pre-Existing Heart Conditions
According to research, yo-yo dieting can lead to more severe health consequences for people already affected by a heart condition. This type of diet presupposes a repeated weight loss and also gain cycle and is known as the “yo-yo effect” or “weight cycling”.
For their report, the team analyzed data gathered from over 9,500 people diagnosed with CHD or coronary heart disease. They were in between 35 and 75 years old. CHD is considered the most common type of heart disease among both women and men living in the United States. Also, this condition can lead to the death of about 370,000 every year in the States alone.
Among the study participants, besides CHD, they all also had high cholesterol levels as well as other heart issues. The median follow-up period was of about 4.7 years over which the participants were monitored for body weight changes.
The team found that obese or overweight individuals that experienced the largest body weight changes were also exposed to higher health risks. More exactly, they presented 136 percent more strokes and 117 percent more heart attacks when compared to the participants with the smallest body weight fluctuations. Also, the higher weight changes were linked to 124 percent more deaths.
However, the study team did point out the following. Their study was only observational, as such, it was unable to establish or prove a cause-and-effect relation between yo-yo dieting and an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and among people with CHD and heart conditions. More studies on the matter would still be needed.
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