Benefit-to-Risk Balance of Weight Loss Interventions in Older Adults with Obesity

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Purpose of Review: Obesity in the older adult is a burgeoning health epidemic that leads to increased morbidity, disability, and institutionalization. This review presents a brief overview of geriatric-specific consequences of obesity by highlighting the risks and benefits of intentional weight loss. Recent Findings: Intentional weight loss reduces the extent of adiposity-related illnesses, yet the approach in older adults is fraught with challenges. Interventions combining caloric restriction and physical exercise (aerobic and resistance) maximize fat loss and minimize loss of muscle and bone. Interventions are also effective at improving physical function, reducing medication burden, and improving symptomatic osteoarthritis in this population. Approaches can mitigate the risks of isolated caloric restriction on muscle and bone in a safe and effective manner. Summary: Effective weight loss strategies should be considered in older adults. While there are potential risks, practical clinical approaches can minimize the potential harms while maximizing their benefits.

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DiMilia, P. R., Mittman, A. C., & Batsis, J. A. (2019, November 1). Benefit-to-Risk Balance of Weight Loss Interventions in Older Adults with Obesity. Current Diabetes Reports. Current Medicine Group LLC 1.

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