Weight cycling refers to the repeated loss and regain of body weight. Almost half of American adults report that they are trying to lose weight, and with most weight loss not maintained, weight cycling is becoming very common. A new study by the American Cancer Society suggests that yo-yo dieting or weight cycling is not associated with increased risk of cancer in men or women after adjusting for Body Mass Index and other factors.
For the study, researcher Victoria Stevens examined weight cycling and cancer among more than 132,000 men and women enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. The team looked at weight cycling and incidence for all cancer and 15 individual cancers. More than 25,000 study participants developed cancer during 17 years of study.
Stevens said, "The current study should be reassuring for the millions of Americans struggling to lose weight. Our findings suggested that overweight and obese individuals shouldn't let fears about their ability to maintain weight loss keep them from trying to lose weight in the first place."
The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.