The new results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that yo-yo diet, otherwise known as cyclic weight loss and regain of pounds doesn’t increase the risk of developing cancer.
“For the millions of Americans struggling to lose weight, the last thing they need to worry about is that if it comes back, they might raise their risk of cancer,” Victoria Stevens, the lead researcher of the American Cancer Society researchers, said in an interview with Today. “They should keep trying to lose weight even though they may not maintain the weight,” she added.
Steven also said that since weight cycling is very common, there are lots of myths surrounding the phenomenon, but they haven’t been well-studied. The myth of cancer risk in yo-yo dieting may be fueled by the fact that obesity increases the chances of getting cancer. But that’s not really the case with yo-yo dieting.
In the study, Stevens and her team examined the correlation between weight cycling and cancer among more than 132,000 men and women enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort over a 17-year period.
More than 25,000 of the participants in the study developed cancer during the period. Reportedly, in all the participants, 43% of the men and 57% of the women managed to lose at least 10 lbs, but then eventually re-gained the weight. The incidence of cancer among those who admitted to weight recycling was then compared with those who did not undergo yo-yo diet, but the researchers failed to find any significant causal link between yo-yo dieting and the risk of cancer.
The study then manage to explain that while the practice of yo-yo dieting may have risks, cancer is not even included – neither for men nor women.