Does Yo Yo Dieting Increase your Risk of Cancer?


The largest study to date reported in early the online American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that weight cycling, repeated cycles of intentional weight loss followed by regain, was not associated with overall risk of cancer in men and women after adjusting for body mass index and other factors. Previous studies in animals and humans have reported that weight cycling may lead to biological processes such as increased T-cell accumulation, enhanced inflammatory responses in adipose tissue, and lowered natural killer cell cytotoxicity that could lead to cancer. However, many of these studies have not been confirmed by follow up studies and at least 2 previous studies showed no association between weight cycling and cancer.

This study examined weight cycling and cancer among more than 132,999 men and women in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutritional Cohort  of the American Cancer Society. Data collection began in 1992/1993 on men and women age 50 to 74 to explore the effect of nutrition on cancer incidence and mortality. Weight cycling and the incidence of all cancers and 15 individual cancers were studied. Over 25,000 subjects developed cancer during the 17 years of the study. Researchers said “This study, to our knowledge the largest and most comprehensive to date on the issue, should be reassuring. Our findings suggest that overweight and obese individuals shouldn’t let fears about ability to maintain weight loss keep them from trying to lose weight in the first place.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.