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The Reason That Age Is No Barrier To Weight Loss

The Reason That Age Is No Barrier To Weight Loss post image

The overweight, obese and old can lose the same amount of weight as the young by making these changes.

Contrary to the current belief, age does not hinder weight loss.

A study finds that obese patients aged 60 years or even older are able to lose the very same amounts of weight as younger patients.

The weight loss plans are similarly effective for older persons, using lifestyle changes which include psychological support, dietary modification, and boosting physical activity.

Researchers from the Warwickshire Institute enrolled 242 morbidly obese patients and provided them lifestyle weight loss interventions from 2005 to 2016.

The results show that those were 60 or older lost 7.3 percent of their weight while the younger group achieved a 6.9 percent weight reduction.

All the patients who were assigned to the hospital‐based obesity service at WISDEM Centre received a lifestyle intervention programme.

Each patient received an individual lifestyle-based change plan concentrating on healthy diet, change in eating habits, encouraging exercise and psychological help.

Obesity is associated with greater mental problems and death.

Losing weight can reduce over 50 comorbid conditions such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and depression in obese individuals.

Dr Thomas Barber, the study’s lead author, said:

“Weight loss is important at any age, but as we get older we’re more likely to develop the weight-related co-morbidities of obesity.

Many of these are similar to the effects of aging, so you could argue that the relevance of weight loss becomes heightened as we get older, and this is something that we should embrace.

There are a number of reasons why people may discount weight loss in older people.

These include an ‘ageist’ perspective that weight-loss is not relevant to older people and misconceptions of reduced ability of older people to lose weight through dietary modification and increased exercise.

Older people may feel that hospital-based obesity services are not for them.

Service providers and policymakers should appreciate the importance of weight loss in older people with obesity, for the maintenance of health and wellbeing, and the facilitation of healthy ageing.

Furthermore, age per se should not contribute towards clinical decisions regarding the implementation of lifestyle management of older people.

Age should be no barrier to lifestyle management of obesity.

Rather than putting up barriers to older people accessing weight loss programmes, we should be proactively facilitating that process.

To do otherwise would risk further and unnecessary neglect of older people through societal ageist misconceptions.”

The study was published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology (Leyden et al., 2020).



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