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Side effects of dieting

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Dieting, especially extreme food-intake reduction and rapid weight loss, can have the following side effects and consequences:

  • Subsequent weight re-gain
  • Lowered metabolism, causing future attempts at weight loss to become more difficult, and making weight gain easier
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Risk of developing eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, even if initial intentions of dieting were health-wise
  • Prolonged hunger
  • Depression
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Fainting
  • Sinus problems (especially post-nasal drip)
  • Rashes
  • Acidosis
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Seizures
  • Malnutrition, possibly leading to death
  • Constipation, due to lack of food-intake
  • Dehydration, due to lack of fluid-intake

While there are studies that showed the health and medical benefits of weight loss, a study in 2005 of around 3000 Finns over an 18-year period showed that weight loss from dieting can result in increased mortality, while those who maintained their weight fared the best. Similar conclusion is drawn by other studies, and although other studies suggest that intentional weight loss has a small benefit for individuals classified as unhealthy, it is associated with slightly increased mortality for healthy individuals and the slightly overweight but not obese. This may reflect the loss of subcutaneous fat and beneficial mass from organs and muscle in addition to visceral fat when there is a sudden and dramatic weight loss.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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