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Weight cycling and cardiovascular risk factors in obesity


OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between weight cycling and some cardiovascular risk factors in a wide sample of obese subjects.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study with retrospective evaluation of weight and dieting history.

SUBJECTS: In all, 459 obese subjects, 340 women and 119 men (age: 19–65 y; BMI: 30–69 kg/m2).

MEASUREMENTS: Body composition and fat distribution (by bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropometry), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, plasma glucose, total and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and insulin resistance by HOMAir, various weight cycling indices.

RESULTS: A positive correlation between weight cycling indices, BMI and percent body fat was found in both genders. Also, the maximum absolute amount of weight regained following a single diet episode was significantly associated to insulin and HOMAir in both genders. However, these correlations disappeared when the data were controlled for age and BMI.

CONCLUSION: In obese subjects of both genders weight cycling, and in particular weight regain, does not appear to be associated with adverse effects on body composition, fat distribution or cardiovascular risk factors in an independent manner, but rather in relation to fat accumulation over years.

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Correspondence to M L Petroni.

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Graci, S., Izzo, G., Savino, S. et al. Weight cycling and cardiovascular risk factors in obesity. Int J Obes 28, 65–71 (2004).

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  • yo-yo syndrome
  • cardiovascular risk
  • obesity
  • insulin resistance
  • weight loss

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