Yo-yo dieting dangerous for women’s hearts, study says

Extreme calorie restriction, which is a common practice among yo-yo dieters, can increase the stress hormone known as cortisol. When this hormone is present in your body, it can have myriad negative health effects. In fact, it can even increase your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner claims that yo-yo dieting can also damage arteries and cause an increase in LDL cholesterol, both of which increase the risk of heart disease. These effects may arise particularly in those who have gone on a yo-yo diet more than five times in their life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yo-yo dieting may increase the risk for coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death in post-menopausal women.
  • But it wasn’t clear whether losing or gaining weight in adulthood increased the risk of death from those diseases.
  • To find the answer, researchers studied 153,063 post-menopausal women who self-reported their weights.

“There’s evidence that being overweight in midlife increases risk of dying from two types of heart disease, according to the heart association — coronary heart disease, in which blood vessels are blocked by fat and other material, or sudden cardiac death, where the heart’s electrical system suddenly stops working.”