on 'yo-yo' diets at risk of stroke
Women who "binge diet" increase
their risk of heart attack and stroke because gaining and losing
weight gives them lower levels of "good" cholesterol compared
with those who eat sensibly.
A study, published in the Journal of the American College of
Cardiology (Nov '00), shows that women who binge diet to lose
at least 10lbs quickly just three times in their lives (known
as "Weight Cycling) are at increased risk of cardiovascular
findings may have a great significance because 40 per cent of
adult women report attempts to lose weight, and many will gain
it back," said Marian Olson, of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate
School of Public Health, who led the Women's Ischemia Syndrome
The findings showed that the poorer levels of good cholesterol,
known as high density lipoprotein (HDL) were also present in thin
women who binge dieted.
obese 'weight cyclers' tended to have the lowest high cholesterol
levels among all weight cyclers in the study, even thinner women
who repeatedly gain and lose weight showed lower HDL levels than
those who maintain their weight," Ms Olson said. Low HDL cholesterol
is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Further research on the effects of weight cycling is needed. In
the meantime, if you are obese, don't let fear of weight cycling
stop you from achieving a modest weight loss. Although health
problems associated with weight cycling have not been proven,
the health-related problems of obesity are well known. If you
do need to lose weight, you should be ready to commit to lifelong
changes in your eating behaviors, diet, and physical activity.