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  • Weight cycling may increase the likelihood of becoming obese

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    Friday, November 03, 2006 4:35 am Email this article
    "Repeated cycles of weight loss and regain appear to enhance subsequent weight gain and may predispose to obesity," concludes a new study from Finland. Obesity

    Weight cycling athletes 2 times as likely to be obese than controls, 3.2 times as likely as other athletes

    Athletes that had been involved in weight-related sports that were likely to have gone through repeated cycles of gaining and losing weight were twice as likely to be obese as men with no athletic background (the control group), and were 3.2 times more likely to be obese than athletes who were involved in sports that were not weight-related.


    Increase in BMI

    Increase in BMI : Other athletes 3.3 units; controls 4.2 units; weight cycling atheltes 5.2 units

    From the age of 20, other athletes increased their body mass index (BMI) by an average of 3.3 units at the age of 62.5-years-old.

    The control group increased their BMI by an average of 4.2 units at the age of 58.5-years-old.

    While weight cycling athletes increased their BMI by an average of 5.2 units at the age of 58.7-years-old.



    Conclusion : Weight cycling may be harmful for weight control

    “Chronic dieting with weight cycling may be harmful for permanent weight control,” the paper concluded.



    Conclusion : Weight cycling may be harmful for weight control

    The study involved “1838 male elite athletes who had represented Finland in major international sport competitions in 1920–1965, including 370 men engaged in sports in which weight-related performance classes are associated with weight cycling (boxers, weight lifters and wrestlers; further called as weight cyclers), and 834 matched control men with no athletic background.”


    Saarni SE, Rissanen A, Sarna S, Koskenvuo M, Kaprio J. Weight cycling of athletes and subsequent weight gain in middleage. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Nov, 30(11):1639-44.


    Suoma Saarni
    Department of Public Health
    University of Helsinki
    Helsinki, Finland

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