A study says dieters may die younger than those who stay fat.
The authors warn that more research needs to be done but say the report shows how poorly the long-term effects of dieting are understood, the Guardian reported Monday.
"We need to study the effects of weight loss on the body much better than we have done so far," said lead researcher, Thorkild Sorensen, of the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Copenhagen University hospital.
Rsearchers said they could not identify why the dieters in the study were at a greater risk, but believe it is caused by fat being lost from lean organs and other body tissues, the newspaper said.
"It seems as if the long-term effect of the weight loss is a general weakening of the body that leads to an increased risk of dying from several different causes," said Dr Sorensen. "The adverse effects of losing lean body mass may overrule the beneficial effects of losing fat mass when dieting."
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: High-protein diet curbs metabolic benefits of weight loss