Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman have a podcast called Hollywood Babble-On (very funny, but not for the faint of heart – lots of really raunchy language and subjects).  Anyhow, one of their regular segments is called “Shit that Should Not Be” – it’s where they look at movies and TV shows, that presumably were looked at by many many people before being released to the public, and still stupid mistakes are not caught.

Well, I think Fatties United needs a segment called “Studies that Should Not Be”.  Research that is so useless and/or pointless that there is no discernable reason for said research to have been done.

A prime example:

History of weight cycling does not impede future weight loss or metabolic improvements in postmenopausal women

This study looked at what happened when postmenopausal women who have a history of weight-cycling (yo-yo dieting)  participate in a 12-month diet/exercise intervention program.

Can you guess?  They lost some weight!

And from that these brainiacs conclude:

A history of weight cycling does not impede successful participation in lifestyle interventions or alter the benefits of diet and/or exercise on body composition and metabolic outcomes.

Um, excuse me?    “Successful participation?”  Well, yeah, if your only gauge of success is short term weight loss.

Want to discuss what happens to the ladies when the weight comes back?  Since these women already have a history of yo-yo dieting, the likelihood of weight regain (and then some) is in the 98% range.  Almost guaranteed.  How do you think they’ll feel about that?  What do you think will happen to their (already not good) metabolic profile?

Do the “benefits” of short term weight loss outweigh the physiological and psychological harm of the weight rebound?

Also, they were kind of comparing apples to oranges.  The baseline group (the participants without a history of yo-yo dieting) was thinner and had a better metabolic profile than the weight-cyclers (gee, could that be because weight cycling makes you fatter and screws up your metabolic profile).

The only metabolic outcome was improvement in insulin resistance in the weight-cyclers who were doing exercise only.  Exercise is known to help with insulin resistance, so no surprises there; but that leads to the question of does the effect of dieting on your metabolism cancel out any benefit of exercise on insulin resistance?

Oh, and these women are approaching the age when additional weight may be more protective.

So what the title of this study should be is:

History of weight cycling does not impede future weight cycling in postmenopausal women




  1. Ugh! Who are these morons who do a study where the participants are weight cyclers, ansd still fail to take into account that the participants might regain the weight they’ve lost.

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