According to a new study, weight loss followed by weight gain is only a health risk in men with pre-existing disease. The health risks of obesity are now well established to many. But weight, once lost, is often put on again and some studies have suggested that fluctuating weight may, in itself, predispose to heart disease and other health problems.
Researchers in London studied a group of 5,428 middle-aged British men during a 12 to 15 year observation period, and then measured death rates over the subsequent eight years. Men with stable weight or no weight gain had the lowest risk of heart disease and death from heart disease. Those with fluctuating weight did have an increased risk, but this could mainly be attributed to pre-existing disease. Losing weight and gaining it again - perhaps more than once - did not cause heart disease. So worries about regaining weight should not stop people adopting healthy eating and exercise patterns. But they should do all they can to keep to a healthy weight.