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Yo-Yo Dieting

October 25, 2018

A closer look at the effects of yo-yo dieting.



The ups and downs of yo-yo dieting. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Many doctors warn that yo-yo dieting, in which people repeatedly cut down on calories and lose weight, but then gain it right back again, is worse than being overweight. But Indiana University researcher David Allison and his colleagues report in the journal Obesity that in mice, such up and down weight cycling improved longevity when compared with mice who didn’t diet at all.

DAVID ALLISON (Indiana University School of Public Health- Bloomington):

So it’s better, at least if you’re an obese mouse, to lose weight, even if you regain that weight, and do it over and over again.


Allison says more work will be needed to see whether the same holds true for humans. Since losing and regaining weight is so common in people, he adds that understanding how it affects metabolism, body composition, inflammation and other markers of health is important. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon