A new study debunks a belief held hitherto, that intentional weight loss in senior people could be detrimental to their health by increasing risk of death.
Rather a study conducted by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that those seniors who actively aimed for weight loss were only half as likely to die within 8 years when compared with their peers who made no such attempt.
The study examined 318 seniors with knee arthritis, half of whom underwent a weight loss intervention and half of whom did not. The first group, who worked towards intentional weight loss, lost an average of 10.5 pounds over a period of time.
The other group lost about 3.1 pounds naturally which could have been the result of loss of muscle mass or bone loss that occurs as a result of old age.
When researchers checked with the subjects 8 years after this intervention, it was found that the group who had intentionally worked towards weight loss had had fewer deaths than the other group who had made no attempts to lose weight.
Earlier it was thought that seniors who lost weight intentionally were more likely to die; however this study has shown otherwise.
Now health practitioners need not be concerned about recommending weight loss to address problems related to obesity in older adults.