Background & aims: To investigate the association between history of multiple weight loss diets followed by weight regain, namely weight cycling (WCy), and both body weight excess and abdominal fat accumulation.
Methods: A one-day cross-sectional survey ("Obesity-Day") including 914 participants (605F:309M). Anthropometric variables (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC] and waist-to-height ratio [WtHR]), covariates and WCy (≥ 5 intentional weight loss episodes of ≥ 5 kg followed by rapid return to pre-diet or higher body weight) were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire, interview and physical examination.
Results: Data on central fat accumulation (by WC and WtHR) were available in a representative sub-group (n = 600). WCy was reported by 119 participants (13.0%) of total population and by 79 (13.2%) of those with available data on central fat accumulation. At multivariable linear regressions WCy was independently associated with higher BMI (P = .004), WC (P = .011) and WtHR (P = .008). Sensitivity analyses, performed after excluding those being on a diet at the time of assessment, confirmed these findings.
Conclusions: A history of WCy appears related to body weight excess and abdominal fat accumulation. These findings support the importance of designing adequate weight loss programs to achieve long-term weight maintenance and to prevent undesirable and unhealthy weight accumulation.
2011 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.