Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research supports intentional weight loss for older adults

Date:
September 19, 2013
Source:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
New research shows that physical activity and weight loss conducted together for older, overweight and obese adults results in improved body composition, translating into lower cardiovascular disease risk and improved mobility.

The medical community touts the importance of not carrying excess weight, but that has not always been the message delivered to older adults.

Weight loss has been discouraged among older adults, partly because of health concerns over inadvertent reductions in muscle and bone mass, which is known to accompany overall weight loss. However, new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that physical activity and weight loss conducted together for older, overweight and obese adults results in improved body composition, translating into lower cardiovascular disease risk (CVD) and improved mobility.

Lead study author Kristen Beavers, Ph.D., M.P.H., instructor of geriatrics and gerontology at Wake Forest Baptist, said these new findings are illustrative of an emerging body of research addressing the controversy surrounding the recommendation of weight loss in old age and suggest that intentional weight loss can have positive health benefits for older adults, at least for the short term.

“Our results show that improvements in several risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic disease correlate with the magnitude of lost weight and are influenced primarily by loss of fat,” Beavers said. “Weight loss was also associated with improvements in mobility.”

Beavers and colleagues analyzed data from the Cooperative Lifestyle Intervention Program (CLIP), a randomized controlled trial of physical activity and weight loss on mobility in 288 overweight or obese older adults at risk of CVD over a 2.5 year period. CLIP was conducted within the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Centers by senior co-author W. Jack Rejeski, Ph.D., professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University. CLIP showed that an 18-month physical activity and weight loss intervention was successful in achieving and maintaining clinically significant weight loss for a majority of overweight and obese older adults.

Findings published online this month ahead of print in the journal Obesity show that although some of the weight lost by CLIP participants was muscle, a larger amount of lost weight was fat mass, resulting in an increase in the relative proportion of lean body mass.

“Importantly, this favorable shift in body weight and composition was associated with improvements in clinical parameters of cardiometabolic risk and mobility,” Beavers said.

The average age of participants was 67 with an average body mass index (BMI) of 32.8 kg/m2. Sixty-seven percent were women and 82 percent were Caucasian. All participants reported limitations in mobility at the beginning of the study. DXA-acquired body composition measures (total body fat and lean mass), conventional biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk, and 400-meter walk time were obtained at the study start and 18 months. DXA stands for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and is the current gold standard for assessing body composition in clinical research studies.

“These results should help temper some of the safety concerns regarding the recommendation of intentional weight loss for older adults,” Beavers said. “However, better understanding of how long-term intentional weight loss and associated shifts in body composition, affects the onset of chronic disease and disability on older adults is necessary to comprehensively evaluate the clinical recommendation for weight loss in this population.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "New research supports intentional weight loss for older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919085254.htm>.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2013, September 19). New research supports intentional weight loss for older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919085254.htm
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "New research supports intentional weight loss for older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919085254.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins