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Study shows age isn’t a barrier to successful weight loss

Photo: kali9/iStockphoto

Coventry, England — Healthy lifestyle changes can help anyone – no matter their age – lose weight, results of a recent study led by researchers from the University of Warwick show.

The researchers randomly selected 242 morbidly obese patients who were enrolled in a hospital-based weight loss program between 2005 and 2016. They divided the participants into two groups: those younger than 60 years old and those ages 60-78.

After spending similar amounts of time in the weight loss program, participants in the 60-78 age group on average reduced their weight 7.3%, while those younger than 60 lost 6.9% of their body weight. Further, those in the older group reduced their body mass index by 7.8%, while the younger group experienced an 8.1% reduction.

Lead study author Thomas Barber, associate professor and honorary consultant endocrinologist at the Warwick Medical School, said in a press release that older adults’ ability to lose weight might be discounted for a number of reasons.

“These include an ‘ageist’ perspective that weight loss is not relevant to older people and misconceptions of reduced ability of older people to lose weight through dietary modification and increased exercise,” Barber said. “Age should be no barrier to lifestyle management of obesity.”

The study was published online Oct. 22 in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.

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