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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Systematic review finds modest weight loss at 1 year but a lack of high-quality evidence to support the efficacy of programmes encouraging weight loss in older people
  1. Gordon L Jensen,
  2. Pao Ying Hsiao
  1. Correspondence to Gordon L Jensen
    Professor and Head, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Professor of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, PA 16802, USA; glj1{at}

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Obesity is a major public health concern that has been increasing in prevalence among older people. In addition to the burden of chronic disease that accompanies excess weight, obesity is an independent risk factor for functional decline among older peeople.1 Diet and exercise are fundamental to behavioural weight loss interventions for younger populations, but it is less clear what recommendations may be appropriate for older adults. Recommendations for volitional weight reduction interventions for obese older people are controversial because non-volitional weight loss is associated with unfavourable outcomes in older adults and is strongly associated with underlying disease or inflammatory conditions, there is evidence that mortality risk may be lower for older adults who are overweight or mildly obese, and weight reduction in older people may be associated with undesirable loss of lean body mass and bone mineral density.1 …

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  • Competing interests None.