Dangers of Dieting

A new study presented to the American Heart Association on Tuesday communicated the real, imminent dangers of the fad ‘yo-yo dieting.’ The research conveyed the possibility of this type of dieting increasing the risk for coronary heart disease—which can lead to heart attacks and other serious health issues— and sudden cardiac death, in post-menopausal women.

On-and-off dieting has been a trend for 20% to 55% of the female U.S. population, a common issue that has received little attention in terms of its inherent risks. Dr. Michael Miller, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stated: “You can look and appear healthy, but you don’t know what your risk factors are.”

The findings from a group of normal-weight women who ‘weight cycled’ indicated that they were 3 ½ times more likely to have sudden cardiac death than women with stable weights. Yo-yo dieting in normal-weight women was also associated with a 66% increased risk of coronary heart disease deaths. Weight cycling can additionally result in fluid shifts and electrolyte changes, which have the potential to cause deadly heart arrhythmias in susceptible middle-aged women.

Popular diet fads and trends advocate for losing weight quickly, primarily by severely reducing caloric intake. When this occurs, the dieter’s levels of magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes become depleted, which is dangerously hazardous to the body, and engenders adverse effects on health.

Losing weight in a drastic fashion is now not only considered unhealthy, but also scientifically proven to be possibly deadly. Restricting food should be replaced with the implementation of a healthy diet and increasing physical exercise.

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