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Yo-Yo Dieters Still Benefit From Weight Loss Efforts

Last Updated: August 20, 2012.

Yo-yo dieting does not negatively affect participation in lifestyle intervention or the benefits of diet and exercise, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Metabolism -- Clinical and Experimental.

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Yo-yo dieting does not negatively affect participation in lifestyle intervention or the benefits of diet and exercise, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Metabolism -- Clinical and Experimental.

To investigate weight change for women with a history of weight cycling, Caitlin Mason, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues randomized 439 overweight, inactive, postmenopausal women to receive one of the following interventions: dietary weight loss with a 10 percent weight loss goal (118 women); moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for 45 minutes per day, five days per week (117); both dietary weight loss and exercise (117); or control (87). Women were categorized based on their repetitive loss and regain of body weight as non-, moderate- (three or more losses ≥4.5 kg), or severe-cyclers (three or more losses ≥9.1 kg).

The researchers found that, at baseline, compared with non-cyclers, the 103 moderate and 77 severe cyclers were heavier with worse metabolic profiles. No significant differences were observed in adherence to the interventions. Compared with non-cyclers in the exercise-only group, the combined weight cyclers had a significantly greater improvement in insulin resistance (P = 0.03). No significant differences were seen in other groups.

"Our results suggest that a history of weight cycling does not impede successful participation in lifestyle interventions or alter the benefits of diet and/or exercise on anthropometric and metabolic outcomes in women," the authors write.

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