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Older Adults Lost More Weight In LookAHEAD



sharma-obesity-zumbaConventional wisdom suggests that older individuals may have a harder time losing and maintaing weight loss.

Now a post-hoc analysis of the LookAHEAD study by Mark Espeland and colleagues, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, suggests that older individuals with type 2 diabetes may in fact have better responses to behavioural interventions than younger individuals.

This analysis compared the effects of four years of intensive lifestyle intervention on weight, fitness, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in 1,000 older (65-76 years) and 4,000 younger individuals (45-64 years) participants in the LookAHEAD study at sixteen sites in the US.

Over the four years of the study, older individuals lost more weight (6.2 vs. 5.1%) with only only self-reported worsening vision predicting less weight loss.

Improvements in fitness, HDL cholesterin and HbA1c were similar between the older and younger individuals.

Thus, the authors conclude that intensive lifestyle intervention targeting weight loss and increased physical activity is slightly more effective in overweight and obese older individuals with type 2 diabetes in producing sustained weight loss with comparable improvements in fitness and cardiovascular risk factors.

@DrSharma
Edmonton, AB

ResearchBlogging.orgEspeland MA, Rejeski WJ, West DS, Bray GA, Clark JM, Peters AL, Chen H, Johnson KC, Horton ES, Hazuda HP, & Action for Health in Diabetes Research Group (2013). Intensive weight loss intervention in older individuals: results from the action for health in diabetes type 2 diabetes mellitus trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61 (6), 912-22 PMID: 23668423

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1 Comment

  1. But is this a good thing? I always counsel my older adults to carry a little more weight (BMI: 22-27) in case of prolonged ilness. Also we know from studies that older adults tend not to eat as well or absorb micornutrients as well. So I am not surprised they lose weight easier…but is it safe for them in the long term?

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