The good news is you can successfully lose weight at any age. The bad is you can no longer blame your weight gain on getting older. Because it looks like age doesn’t play that much of a role in your weight.
A new study out of England found obese patients over age 60 can lose an equivalent amount of weight as younger people using only lifestyle changes. The study, from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, demonstrates that age is no barrier to losing weight.
The issue they were facing is that age is sometimes a barrier for acceptance of patients into a hospital‐based obesity service. Their aim was to explore the effect of age on the ability to lose weight through lifestyle interventions, implemented within a hospital‐based obesity service.
“Weight loss is important at any age, but as we get older we’re more likely to develop the weight-related co-morbidities of obesity,” lead author Dr Thomas Barber of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick said in a news release published in Science Daily. “Many of these are similar to the effects of aging, so you could argue that the relevance of weight loss becomes heightened as we get older, and this is something that we should embrace.”
This was a retrospective study, meaning they were looking at results that had already been achieved. They took a cohort of randomly selected patients with morbid obesity, who attended a hospital‐based obesity service during 2005‐2016 and received only lifestyle weight loss interventions. The results were as they hope, age didn’t seem to play a role. Therefore, age per se should not influence clinical decisions regarding acceptance of patients to hospital‐based obesity services.
There are more than 50 co-morbidities of obesity that can be lessened as we lose weight, including diabetes, psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety, osteoarthritis and other mechanical problems. Obesity is also linked to increased mortality and poor wellbeing.
If you are in a situation where you should lose weight, then at least you can go forward armed with the knowledge that age is not a barrier.