Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055


9/1/11 outdoor scaleThere is a common perception among those in the field of Geriatrics that weight loss occurring in the elderly is a bad idea. In the past, doctors were hesitant to ask overweight adults to lose weight fearing it might not be wise. This is because an underlying illness has often been behind the unintentional weight loss.

Previous studies had shown that a higher death rate might be linked to this weight loss. A recent study, however,  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that losing a few pounds on purpose does not seem to cause any harm. 

Author, Stephen Kritchevsky and his colleagues at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. looked at data from a past study of overweight and obese adults with high blood pressure. On average, participants had lost close to 10 lbs., after receiving aid in how to lose weight and maintain it.

Twelve years later, the researchers used national death records to figure out which of the original participants were still alive. The good news is that while weight loss may not add years to your life, it won't subtract them either. 






Outdoor scale courtesy of Davidwg's photostream via's Creative Commons License

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Comments (8)

MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for the good news about elderly weight loss. I think the key is weight loss in people who are overweight and elderly is still okay; it's when the weight loss is among those who are frail or underweight that it can be damaging as they have fewer body reserves to get them through illnesses.

Sep 01, 2011 04:08 PM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jill, I'm thinking weight loss might be an issue if the person is not activly trying by changing up their diet...but more sudden unexplained weight loss. As people age, it's nice if they're not so frail that if they should fall they will break a hip or bone..not an uncommon thing. A little padding might protect a little obesity is never healthy for any age.

Sep 01, 2011 04:55 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Michelle - You summarized it very well.

Cindy - Thanks for the reblog. Yes, it's the sudden, unexplained weight loss they feared. Done correctly, it should be no problem according to the study.

Sep 02, 2011 01:19 AM
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

good to know.. I think you feel better at any age if you lose weight ( assuming you are overweight).. it helps your breathing, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

Sep 02, 2011 02:45 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Definitely, Sheila. There are always health benefits to losing weight, assuming you need to and it's done correctly.

Sep 03, 2011 01:10 PM
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Great minds think alike.  I just made a comment on my blog about not being able to see you, and that I hoped you hadn't lost so much weight that you evaporated and here you are writing about weight loss!

Nice new photo, likely from the wedding.  And, thanks for the ammunition for the Chief Cook.  Now, she will surely put me on a diet.

Sep 03, 2011 03:55 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I dropped by from Michelle Crowe's reblog

I have worried about my 87 years old parents and their weight loss. Neither one has every been overweight, but now that they're older and looking a bit frail, I am concerned about their weight loss. Whenever we go out for dinner, they share one meal and still have some left over. Maybe that's not such a bad thing after all.

Sep 03, 2011 09:09 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Ron - So far, so good. I haven't evaporated yet, but it's always a possibility. Yes, picture from the wedding. They've started coming in. If you would consider uploading a picture of yourself, then I could tell you how perfect you are and that you don't need to be on a diet.


Pacita - While older people naturally tend to eat less, I would still make sure there are no underlying causes with a doctor. This article was discussing overweight adults who want to lose a few pounds with traditional dieting methods, not normal weight adults who have no interest in eating and are looking a bit frail. Since you obviously are worried about your parents, I would urge you to accompany them to a medical checkup.

As these studies become available, I write about them if I feel they are relevant. They are no substitute for licensed medical care, If their current eating habits are a departure from years past, it could be any number of things, but you won't know unless you seek professional advice.

Sep 04, 2011 02:52 AM

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