Research: Weight variability increases with psychologic status

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Worsening psychologic status leads to weight cycling.

Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo

Several studies have suggested an association between weight cycling and psychological status.  It makes sense that anxiety and depression will lead to an increase in eating and less exercise.  Although I think that weight cycles an lead to psychological distress, anxiety and depression (as well as other behavioral illnesses) could lead to weight cycling.  It is highly likely that both have a positive effect and magnify the effects of each other.  

A new study provides an analysis of the bidirectional association between weight variability and psychological status over 8-years[1].  The subjects were nearly 4800 overweight/obese adults with Type 2 diabetes that were participating in the Look AHEAD study.  The randomized controlled trial is comparing health outcomes in individuals with Type 2 diabetes assigned to an intensive lifestyle intervention designed to produce weight loss or a diabetes education and support control group.  

Psychological status was assessed via surveys and weight was measured.  The researchers found a relationship between weight cycling and increased psychological symptoms.  Lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with significantly less subsequent weight variability. 

The bottom line:  These results suggest that a strong relationship between weight variability and psychological status.  This tie is due primarily to poorer psychological function preceding greater weight instability.  I would suggest that you employ stress control and BH counseling if you tend to have weight cycling or yo-yoing.  

References

[1]
C. R. Pacanowski et al., “Psychological status and weight variability over eight years: Results from Look AHEAD.,” Health Psychology, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 238–246, Mar. 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1037/hea0000547″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000547
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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