Posted on Apr 18, 2011, 6 a.m.
For obese seniors, dieting and exercise together are more effective at improving physical performance and reducing frailty than either alone.
With a current 20% of adults 65 years of age or older as obese, and the prevalence anticipated to continue to rise with the globally aging population, older obese adults face severe health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which can be compounded by a lack of mobility. For Dennis T. Villareal, from Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri, USA), and colleagues evaluated the effects of dieting and exercise in more than 100 obese seniors over a one-year period. Although weight loss alone and exercise alone improved physical function by about 12% and 15%, respectively, neither was as effective as diet and exercise together, which improved physical performance by 21%. As well, the combination of dieting and exercise together were effective at reducing frailty than either approach solely.
Villareal D.T., Chode S., Parimi N., et al. “Weight Loss, Exercise, or Both and Physical Function in Obese Older Adults.” N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1218 – 1229, March 31, 2011.