Are you concerned about an older family member’s weight? If your parents or senior loved ones are slightly heavier than you think they should be there, there are a few special considerations to take into account. Weight management for older adults involves more than just going on a diet.
Should Older Adults Lose Weight?
A new research study raises questions about whether or not weight loss is necessary for some older adults. Scientists at Ohio State University found that people who were slightly overweight in their 50s but kept their weight steady were more likely to live longer. In contrast, those who started out as very obese in their 50s and who continued to gain weight had shorter life expectancies.
So does that mean you should maintain your weight if you are heavy? Not necessarily. If you are already overweight, getting heavier is probably not a good idea. But whether or not you should lose weight is a conversation you should have with your doctor.
Your primary care provider can tell you how your weight affects your risk factors for different medical conditions based on your own health history and your family background. Your doctor can also tell you how losing weight may improve your health.
Healthy Weight Loss for Seniors
In a recent interview with Dr. Mike Moreno, M.D, the best-selling book author explained that a healthy diet for seniors should consist of smaller more frequent meals. “It’s typical for older adults to have less of an appetite as they age,” says Moreno. “This often occurs, because people become more sedentary and it becomes harder to stimulate hunger.”
A registered dietitian can help you or your family member put together a personalized plan for weight loss or weight maintenance. To get a referral, talk to your family physician and then connect with North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss online, on Facebook and Twitter.