Yo-yo dieting linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Troubling new research from the American Heart Association: women who have lost at least 10 pounds, only to regain the weight within a year, are more likely to have a poor score on their “Life’s Simple 7”, a measure of how well people control important heart disease risk factors. What’s more, the more episodes of yo-yo dieting women report, the worse they score. It seems that achieving a healthy weight and then maintaining a consistent body weight are important for lowering heart disease risk.

It’s relatively straightforward to achieve a healthy weight, it’s maintaining it that is the challenge, with all the benefits not only lost if you can’t do so, but cardiovascular health actually put at greater risk from a yo-yo diet cycle.

Investigators studied 485 women, assessing them on “Life’s Simple 7” measure of how well people control important heart disease risk factors (including body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, smoking, physical activity and diet).

Most of the women (73 percent) reported at least one episode of yo-yo weight loss, with a range of zero to 20 episodes. Researchers found that women with one or more episodes of yo-yo weight loss were 82 percent less likely to have an optimal BMI, while the more episodes of weight cycling women reported, the poorer they scored on Life’s Simple 7.

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