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J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Apr;109(4):718-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.12.026.

Anthropometric, metabolic, psychosocial, and dietary characteristics of overweight/obese postmenopausal women with a history of weight cycling: a MONET (Montreal Ottawa New Emerging Team) study.

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Département de Nutrition, Université de Montréal, 2405Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, Québec H3T1A8, Canada.


Characteristics of weight cyclers have not been fully assessed. The objective of this study was to determine the anthropometric, metabolic, psychosocial, and dietary profile of postmenopausal women according to weight-cycling history, defined as the frequency of going on a diet and losing >10 kg: never (0 times), low (1 time), moderate (2 to 3 times), or frequent (> or = 4 times). The sample of this cross-sectional study consisted of 121 overweight/obese postmenopausal women enrolled in a 6-month randomized weight-loss intervention between 2003 and 2006. Measures at baseline were used to evaluate body composition (fat mass by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and visceral fat by computed tomography); resting metabolic rate by indirect calorimetry; insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp; fasting plasma levels of glucose, lipids, leptin, ghrelin, and adiponectin; blood pressure; psychosocial profile (eg, body-esteem, self-esteem, stress, perceived risks, perceived benefits, self-efficacy, quality of life, dietary restraint, disinhibition, hunger); and dietary profile (3-day food record). Differences among groups of weight cyclers were determined using analyses of variance. Among the 121 women, 15.7%, 24.8%, 33.9%, and 25.6% were non-, low, moderate, and frequent cyclers, respectively. Frequent cyclers were characterized by higher body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) (current and at 25 years of age) and percent body fat mass, larger waist circumference, and lower resting metabolic rate/kg body weight than noncyclers (P<0.05); and moderate cyclers had lower plasma adiponectin values than noncyclers (P<0.05). For psychosocial measures, frequent cyclers were characterized by greater disinhibition and lower body esteem after controlling for body mass index (P<0.05). In conclusion, weight cycling was found to be associated with some unfavorable metabolic and psychosocial parameters.

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