While weight loss is a goal for most people, there can be serious consequences to going on such a diet. A recent study shows that weight loss can result in worsening bone density, bone architecture and bone strength.
The study used data on weight changes over 40 years in participants in the Framingham Study (a long-term, ongoing cardiovascular study on residents of Framingham, Massachusetts). The study began in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects from Framingham, and is now in its third generation of participants. “We showed that men and women with shorter term weight loss (over 4-6 years) and longer term weight loss (over 40 years) had more micro-architectural deterioration of their bones than persons who did not lose weight,” said Douglas P Kiel, principal investigator for the study.
The magnitude of changes to the skeleton were clinically significant and translated into an almost three-fold increase in the risk of fracture for those who lost 5% or more weight over 40 years.
“Older adults, who are losing weight, should be aware of the potential negative effects on the skeleton and may want to consider counteracting these effects through interventions such as weight-bearing exercise and eating a balanced diet. Given that weight loss is highly common in older adults, further work is needed to evaluate if these bone deficits can be prevented through interventions or therapy,” said Elizabeth (Lisa) Samelson, PhD, senior author of the paper.
The study has been published in the Journal of Bone & Mineral Research.
Here are some of the other side effects of weight loss:
* Losing weight rapidly by going on a crash diet or taking weight loss pills can lead to heart problems and gallstones. It can lead to spells of dizziness due to the nutritional imbalance.
* Nutritional deficiencies can affect secretion of brain chemicals, such as endorphins, which can cause depression and make you feel irritable.
* Diets that are nutritionally deficient can lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiency, which can cause bones to be fragile and prone to fractures.
* A diet that is low in carbohydrates can cause weakness in the body, bad breath, constipation, dehydration, muscle cramps and a craving for sugar.
* A 2018 study has shown that going on a high protein diet to lose weight can increase risk of heart failure in middle-aged men.
* Going on a fruit-based diet will lead you to exclude a lot of nutrient groups from your diet, such as diary, which can cause loss of calcium.