More than a third of persons 65 years of age or older in the US are obese and this group constitutes a population particularly susceptible to adverse outcomes because obesity not only causes serious medical complications but also, more importantly, exacerbates the age-related decline in physical function resulting in frailty. However, whether lifestyle therapy that includes weight loss is net beneficial or harmful in older adults with obesity has been debated. The appropriate management of obesity in older adults has been controversial, because of the reported reduction in relative health risks associated with increasing BMI in this group, and the concern that weight loss could worsen frailty by exacerbating the age-related decline in muscle and bone mass and resultant sarcopenia and osteopenia. This lecture will highlight recent progress pertaining to therapeutic and lifestyle approaches to obesity in older adults, with the goal to improve functional status while minimize muscle and bone losses during weight-loss therapy.
Treatment of Geriatric Obesity
Dennis T Villareal, MD