Women who lose 10 pounds or more only to regain it within a year may be at an increased risk for heart disease. This process is known as yo-yo dieting or yo-yo weight loss.
A recent study of 485 women found that women with one or more episodes of yo-yo weight loss were 82 percent less likely to have an optimal body mass index, according to the American Heart Association.
These women were assessed on Life’s Simple 7, the American Heart Association’s measurement of how well people control heart disease risk factors. The more episodes of weight cycling the women in the study experienced, the poorer they scored on Life’s Simple 7.
“Achieving a healthy weight is generally recommended as heart healthy but maintaining weight loss is difficult and fluctuations in weight may make it harder to achieve ideal cardiovascular health,” said Brooke Aggarwal, senior author of the study and assistant professor of medical sciences at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
Maintaining a consistent body weight may be important for lowering heart disease risk, researchers said, in addition to achieving a healthy weight.