Anthropometric, metabolic, psychosocial, and dietary characteristics of overweight/obese postmenopausal women with a history of weight cycling: a MONET (Montreal Ottawa New Emerging Team) study

J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Apr;109(4):718-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.12.026.


Characteristics of weight cyclers have not been fully assessed. The objective of this study was to determine the anthropometric, metabolic, psychosocial, and dietary profile of postmenopausal women according to weight-cycling history, defined as the frequency of going on a diet and losing >10 kg: never (0 times), low (1 time), moderate (2 to 3 times), or frequent (> or = 4 times). The sample of this cross-sectional study consisted of 121 overweight/obese postmenopausal women enrolled in a 6-month randomized weight-loss intervention between 2003 and 2006. Measures at baseline were used to evaluate body composition (fat mass by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and visceral fat by computed tomography); resting metabolic rate by indirect calorimetry; insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp; fasting plasma levels of glucose, lipids, leptin, ghrelin, and adiponectin; blood pressure; psychosocial profile (eg, body-esteem, self-esteem, stress, perceived risks, perceived benefits, self-efficacy, quality of life, dietary restraint, disinhibition, hunger); and dietary profile (3-day food record). Differences among groups of weight cyclers were determined using analyses of variance. Among the 121 women, 15.7%, 24.8%, 33.9%, and 25.6% were non-, low, moderate, and frequent cyclers, respectively. Frequent cyclers were characterized by higher body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) (current and at 25 years of age) and percent body fat mass, larger waist circumference, and lower resting metabolic rate/kg body weight than noncyclers (P<0.05); and moderate cyclers had lower plasma adiponectin values than noncyclers (P<0.05). For psychosocial measures, frequent cyclers were characterized by greater disinhibition and lower body esteem after controlling for body mass index (P<0.05). In conclusion, weight cycling was found to be associated with some unfavorable metabolic and psychosocial parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Calorimetry, Indirect / methods
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Overweight / metabolism
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Postmenopause / metabolism
  • Postmenopause / psychology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Gain / physiology*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin