Frequent dieting may increase risk of diabetes

Yo-yo dieting may contribute to changes in the brain that contribute to overeating and weight gain during periods of stress, according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania. This state may significantly increase an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The concept of yo-yo dieting is generally defined as going on a crash diet to rapidly lose weight only to regain it later. Given the higher percentage of Americans who are obese, a large number of individuals may be involved in such dieting.

For the study, researchers limited the amount of food available to a group of mice. They then measured the amount of high-fat food these mice ate following exposure to stressful situations. Their findings, which were published in The Journal of Neuroscience, indicate that mice whose food intake was restricted chose more fatty foods than normally fed mice.

Further examinations revealed that these mice had increased levels of corticosterone, a hormone that regulates appetite. Genetic changes at the DNA level may be responsible for this.

Researchers said that their findings have important implications for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. By limiting harmful dieting habits, individuals may be able to limit their diabetes risk.
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