The consequences of the “yoyo effect” on heart health

THE ESSENTIAL

  • To lose weight permanently, it is preferable that the weight loss be gradual.
  • To do this, the ideal is that the daily caloric balance is slightly less than zero.

It is well known that finding the right diet that will make us lose weight in the long term is not easy. By restricting your diet too sharply, it is possible to lose pounds… But once the goal is reached, you risk slipping back into your old habits and gaining weight rapidly. This is called the yo-yo effect. In addition to being discouraging and ineffective, it could also be detrimental to heart and kidney health.

Risks of heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes

Indeed, according to a new study Presented at the annual conference of theAmerican Physiological Societyexcessive changes in weight due to a reduction and then an increase in caloric intake would increase the risk of developing heart and kidney disease and also diabetes.

A 20% loss of body weight.

The scientists conducted their experiments on rats. Sixteen in total, divided into two groups: one received a regular caloric intake throughout the duration of the study, while the other underwent variations: normal diet then restricted. The rodents subjected to fluctuations lost up to 20% of their body weight, that is, the kilos they lost and then regained.

Ultrasounds and blood tests to measure the consequences of the diet.

To assess the impact of dietary variations on the rats’ health, the researchers used ultrasound. Specifically, they sought to analyze whether their heart and kidney functions had been damaged by the diets. At the same time, they also had blood tests to assess their sensitivity to insulin, an indicator of diabetes.

Affected heart and metabolism

We found that animals that lost and then regained weight had poorer heart and kidney function at the end (from experience), says Alina da Souza, lead author of the study. They also had more insulin resistance, which may be a cause of diabetes. Although the animals appear to be healthy after recovering from the diet, their hearts and metabolisms are not.“.

Scientists now want to continue their research to better identify the long-term effects of dieting, especially when weight loss is rapid.

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