Thursday, May 8, 2008

Weight cycling makes bones brittle

If you are planning to go on a jet-speed weight loss programme involving crash diets, beware. You may suffer from the ill effects of weight cycling (repeated loss and regain of body weight in some people who go on weight-loss diets. A small cycle may include loss and regain of 5 to 10 lbs, while in a large cycle, the weight can change by 50 lbs or more.)
According to a report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Dr Anne Johanne Sogaard of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo and colleagues, if you are between 25 and 50, and frequently lose and gain weight, chances of having a fracture increases manifold once you cross 50. This is the result of a study conducted in more than 4600 men over a period of 28 years! However, if you lose weight after crossing the half century mark, the risks of fracture are not so high.
According to researchers, an instant weight-loss programme with crash diets causes microscopic damage to the bones thereby making it more fragile and susceptible to injuries. In the study, they found that amongst men who reported no weight loss episodes before they turned 50, 17-18 per cent suffered forearm fractures, however, the rate was 35-43 per cent amongst those who had lost weight four or more times. The risk of fracture increased with the amount of weight lost.
Does that mean that you should not exercise and lose weight? Not at all, says researchers. On the contrary you must exercise. But exercise restraint when you want to shed those extra kilos. Don’t go in for an instant-coffee type solution, instead supplement regular exercise with a controlled diet regime to lose weight the normal way and retain your bone strength.

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