Obesity in Older Adults: Technical Review and Position Statement of the American Society for Nutrition and NAASO, The Obesity Society

Authors

  • Dennis T. Villareal,

    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences and Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Caroline M. Apovian,

    1. Nutrition and Weight Management Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Robert F. Kushner,

    1. Wellness Institute Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Samuel Klein

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences and Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
      Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8031, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: sklein@wustl.edu
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  • Copying of this article in its entirety with attribution is allowed for any noncommercial and educational use of the work only.

Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8031, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: sklein@wustl.edu

Abstract

Obesity causes serious medical complications and impairs quality of life. Moreover, in older persons, obesity can exacerbate the age-related decline in physical function and lead to frailty. However, appropriate treatment for obesity in older persons is controversial because of the reduction in relative health risks associated with increasing body mass index and the concern that weight loss could have potential harmful effects in the older population. This joint position statement from the American Society for Nutrition and NAASO, The Obesity Society reviews the clinical issues related to obesity in older persons and provides health professionals with appropriate weight-management guidelines for obese older patients. The current data show that weight-loss therapy improves physical function, quality of life, and the medical complications associated with obesity in older persons. Therefore, weight-loss therapy that minimizes muscle and bone losses is recommended for older persons who are obese and who have functional impairments or medical complications that can benefit from weight loss.

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