Healthy Eating And Regular Exercise Can Reduce Obesity Among Seniors
Posted Oct 18 2012 4:45pm
No one can hide from the fact that America is facing an obesity epidemic. We hear about it constantly on the news and see stories about it in countless publications.
At the same time, America’s population is aging as baby boomers get older and older. Especially for baby boomers, it is important that we address the issue of obesity because seniors have a higher risk of contracting health issues caused by the condition. Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are some of the most common health issues that can come from obesity.
About 25 percent of seniors are obese or overweight, statistics said. As seniors age, it is easy to become inactive, which can cause health complications and obesity.
A study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis analyzed the diets and exercise plans among obese senior citizens. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“In older adults, obesity exacerbates declines in physical performance and leads to frailty, impaired quality of life and increases in nursing home admissions,” lead researcher Dennis T. Villareal, MD, said. “Given the increasing prevalence of obesity even among older people, it is important to find ways to combat the problem and help seniors remain healthier and more independent.”
He and his team studied the effects of diet and exercise in more than 100 obese seniors who were between the ages of 65-85, throughout a one year period. The average age of the subjects was about 70 years old. The study wanted to compare the effects of just dieting or exercise independently to the two lifestyles being implemented as a combination. The study found that those who merely focused on weight loss improved their physical function and mobility by about 12 percent, while those who focused solely on exercise improved their physical function and mobility by about 15 percent. The seniors who did both diet and exercise did considerably better, improving their physical performance by 21 percent.