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Obesity and Older Adults

roups based on their birth years (from 1918 to 1927). They found that at the same age, those born later -- who had spent more years during the period when obesity was increasing -- had a higher percentage of body fat. For example, among 80-year-old men, those born in 1927 had about 10 pounds more fat and 3.75 pounds of muscle, compared to those born in 1918.

"The combined effects of aging and the obesity epidemic results in bigger body size and less lean mass among the elderly," said Ding. "This may lead to disability and other illnesses in the elderly and could be dramatic in the coming years. It points out the great public health importance of developing appropriate interventions that target fat loss while preserving skeletal muscle to prevent disability and other obesity-related illnesses."

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