Weight cycling and cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women

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This study examined the relationship between weight cycling and cardiovascular risk factors in 101 obese men and 101 obese women. Weight cycling was defined in three ways by retrospective self-report: 1) number of previous weight losses of ≥ 4.5 kg, 2) total weight lost in prior weight-loss attempts, and 3) the difference between highest and lowest weight as an adult. Cardiovascular risk factors included blood pressure, total and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting and 2-h glucose values, waist-to-hip ratio, and percent of dietary calories from fat. Results did not support the hypothesis that weight cycling increased cardiovascular risk factors in either men or women. Of 88 associations examined, only 7 showed differences with P < 0.05 and of these, 6 were opposite in direction to that hypothesized. We conclude that warnings about the health hazards of repeated dieting may be premature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-644
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Obesity
  • Weight cycling


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