Age does not factor in weight loss success via lifestyle modification
Older age does not necessarily have a negative influence on the success of weight loss through a lifestyle modification implemented within a hospital-based obesity service, a study has found.
The study involved 242 randomly selected patients (70.7 percent female) with morbid obesity who attended a hospital‐based obesity service and received only lifestyle weight-loss interventions. Of these, 167 patients were aged <60 years and 75 were older (aged ≥60 years).
Hospital‐based weight-loss lifestyle interventions lasted a mean of 38.9 months (younger group: mean duration, 41.5 months; older group: mean duration, 33.6 months). Younger patients had greater baseline body mass index compared with their older peers (49.7 vs 46.9 kg/m2; p<0.05).
At the end of the interventions, percentage weight loss (%WL) was similar in the younger and older groups (6.9 percent vs 7.3 percent), as was percentage reduction in body mass index (8.1 percent vs 7.8 percent).
Patient age at intervention referral had no significant correlation with %WL.
The findings suggest that older patients (≥60 years) respond very well to hospital‐based lifestyle interventions, so age should not be a barrier for acceptance of patients into such a programme. This is important as obesity‐related comorbidities tend to get worse with age, and older patients require additional attention and a careful and compassionate approach from a multidisciplinary obesity team, which should address barriers based on misconceptions.