Prevalence of weight cycling and its relation to health indicators in Finland.Obes Res 2005; 13(2):333-41OR
This study was performed to identify weight cyclers and to assess the prevalence of weight cycling and its relation to health indicators in Finnish adults.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES
Data for the study consisted of 3320 men and 3540 women (25 to 64 years of age). The subjects went through a health examination, and data on intentional weight losses and regains during the last 10 years were collected by a questionnaire. The subjects were divided into five groups: severe weight cyclers (weight loss >/= 5 kg at least three times with regain), mild weight cyclers (weight loss >/= 5 kg one to two times and regain), successful dieters (weight loss >/= 5 kg with no regain), nonobese nondieters, and obese nondieters.
Approximately 7% of men and 10% of women were defined as severe weight cyclers, and an additional 11% and 19% were defined as mild weight cyclers, respectively. In men, 20% of severe weight cyclers and 15% of obese nondieters perceived their health as poor, whereas in other groups, these proportions were <10%. In both sexes, severe weight cyclers seemed to have visited a doctor more frequently than nonobese nondieters. Severe weight cyclers were also more likely to use some medication compared with other groups.
Weight cycling is more common in women than in men, and it seems to be associated with more regular visits to a doctor and poor self-perceived health. However, because of the cross-sectional design of the study, causal conclusions cannot be drawn.