Yo-yo dieting doesn't just make you fat, it can also damage your HEART
Study followed 100 obese post-menopausal women, who lost 25lbs on average in an intervention schemeA year later they had regained around 70 per cent of the weight they had lost
Women who regained weight had worse heart health than before they went on diet
17:24 GMT, 18 December 2012
A measured response: Maintaining weight loss is just as important as losing it, a study has suggested
Older women who want to slim down have been warned they could be doing more harm than good if they don't manage to stick to the diet.
For a study revealed over-50s who managed to lose weight before piling it back on again increased their risk of heart disease.
Researchers from Wake Forest University in North Carolina looked at risk-factors that contributed to type 2 diabetes and heart problems in post-menopausal women.
They found that although bad cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and
blood sugar all improved with weight loss, they returned to pre-diet levels and in some cases, to even higher levels, if the pounds were put back on.
Study leader Daniel Deavers, said: 'In this group of women, weight loss and maintaining that loss offers
the most health benefit, but therein lies the problem.
'For most people, weight regain after intentional weight loss is
an expected occurrence.'
The researchers studied 112 obese older women over 15 months. For the first five months the participants were encouraged to lose weight by eating more healthily and exercising. During this period they lost an average of 25lbs each.
Kristen Beavers said the study revealed there were barriers to maintaining weight loss that needed to be tackled
A follow up a year later revealed two-thirds of the women had regained at least four pounds. On average the participants had regained 70 per cent of their lost weight, which actually left them worse-off.
Study co-author Kristen Beavers, said: 'For women who had regained weight in the year after their weight loss,
several risk factors were actually worse than before they lost the
She added that the study highlighted more research was needed to better understanding the barriers to long-term weight loss.
'The take away message for overweight, older women is to approach
weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change, with weight maintenance
just as important as weight loss,' she said.
The study has been published online by the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.