Being overweight or obese is not destiny

November 01, 2000

November 2, 2000 -- For many overweight people who lose weight, gaining it back is often a matter of time. Their cyclical weight gain-loss pattern leaves them feeling as though being "fat" is their destiny.

This cyclical weight gain-loss pattern has led some researchers to believe that the human body has a pre-set weight range and will automatically adjust its metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories) to maintain a weight within its natural range. However, recent evidence published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) provides a different perspective.

In a study of 24 overweight women, researchers found that a low-calorie weight-reducing diet slowed metabolism, but, when these women stopped dieting (after losing almost 30 pounds), their metabolic rate increased and was comparable to that of women who were never overweight. On average, the women returned to their initial overweight level by the 4-year follow-up evaluation; however, variations in their resting metabolic rate did not predict the amount of weight they regained.

Says lead author Dr. Roland L. Weinsier, "Confusion arises from the fact that our metabolic rate falls when we cut back on calories. This is nature's way of preventing starvation. But our results show that, after you lose weight and stop restricting calories, your metabolic rate returns to normal. Therefore, factors other than an abnormal metabolic rate must be responsible for the weight regain tendency."
Other research published in AJCN, Schoeller D, et al. 1997;66:551-556. shows that increased activity after weight loss improves chances for maintaining a weight loss. More research is needed to understand the factors that lead to relapse after weight loss.

Source: Public Information Committee for the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.

The American Society for Nutritional Sciences
The American Society for Clinical Nutrition

9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3998
ASNS Phone: 301/530-7050
ASCN Phone: 301/530-7110, Fax: 301/571-1863

Contact: Roland L. Weinsier, MD, DrPH
fax: 011-41-21-692-5595
Susan K. Fried, PhD
telephone: 732/932-9039
fax: 732/932-6837

American Society for Clinical Nutrition/American Society for Nutritional Sciences

Related Overweight Articles from Brightsurf:

Overweight and obesity are associated with a low sperm quality
Researchers from the Rovira i Virgili University in collaboration with researchers from the University of Utah have carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the association between adiposity (normal weight, overweight, obesity, and low weight) and the sperm quality.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Overweight from cosmetics
Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics. If pregnant women use cosmetics containing parabens that remain on the skin for protracted periods, this may have consequences for their child's subsequent weight development.

Overweight before age 40 increases the cancer risk
The risk of cancer increases considerably if you gain weight before the age of 40.

Overweight Danes are more likely to have overweight dogs according to new research
A new study from the University of Copenhagen reports that the prevalence of overweight dogs is markedly larger among overweight owners than among normal weight owners.

Overweight kids actually eat less right after stressful events
People often react to stress by binging on sweets or fattening comfort foods, cravings fueled by the appetite-stimulating stress hormone cortisol.

Abundant screen time linked with overweight among children
A recently completed study indicates that Finnish children who spend a lot of time in front of screens have a heightened risk for overweight and abdominal obesity, regardless of the extent of their physical activity.

Overweight, obesity in children across Europe
This study (called a systematic review and meta-analysis) combined the results of 103 studies with nearly 478,000 children (ages 2 to 13) to look at how common overweight and obesity are among children across Europe.

Overweight men are inhibiting childbirth
About 15% of couples in fertile age have experienced fertility problems.

Being overweight as a teen may be associated with cardiomyopathy in adulthood
The risk of developing cardiomyopathy, which often leads to heart failure, increased in adult Swedish men who were even mildly overweight around age 18.

Read More: Overweight News and Overweight Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to