People often find it difficult to stick to to drastic changes in their diets along with exercise regimen to lose weight. So they start, stop and then restart. This sequence of events results in cyclical loss and gain of weight.
Weight cycling or ‘yo-yo dieting,’ as it is commonly called is the constant losing and gaining of weight (usually from diet). It is harmful to health in the long run.
A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has also corroborated this and concluded that body-weight fluctuation was associated with mortality. A one-unit increase in average successive variability of body weight was associated with increase in mortality (HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.32−1.62, P < 0.001).
The 16-year prospective cohort study examined 3,678 men and women from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study.
The study also made an interesting observation. People with obesity who experienced more weight cycling were less likely to develop diabetes than other study participants. The association between the ASV of body weight and incident diabetes mellitus seemed to be influenced by baseline body mass index (BMI); negative effect in subjects with BMI < 25 kg/m2 (HR 1.36) and protective effect in those with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (HR 0.76).
Harm reduction can also be applied to weight management.
In the context of weight management, harm reduction means awareness about various options available and recognizing that moderate, individualized changes in eating or exercise habits can be beneficial, which can be in the form of either reducing the frequency of eating a particular food item, or reducing the quantity of a food item or adding exercise to the diet to manage weight.
(Endocrine Society, J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Nov 29. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-01239)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA