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For obese seniors, dieting and exercise together are more effective at improving physical performance and reducing frailty than either alone. Although weight loss alone and exercise alone improve physical function, neither is as effective as diet and exercise together, which improved physical performance in seniors by 21 percent.

Doctors sometimes prescribe fluoxetine (Prozac), an antidepressant that can increase weight loss by about 10%. Weight loss may be temporary and side effects of this medication include diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, and thirst. Weight-loss drugs currently being developed or tested include ones that can prevent fat absorption or digestion; reduce the desire for food and prompt the body to burn calories more quickly; and regulate the activity of substances that control eating habits and stimulate overeating.

Emotions: Some people overeat because of depression, hopelessness, anger, boredom, and many other reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. This doesn’t mean that overweight and obese people have more emotional problems than other people. It just means that their feelings influence their eating habits, causing them to overeat.

[7] Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Weight Gain during Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press; 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK32813.

Other companies have embraced the logo system as a way to tout healthy offerings. Soprole, a Chilean dairy company, produced a commercial that features child newscasters explaining the label system in a way their peers can understand.

First, these surgeries reduce the amount of food stored in the stomach and the amount of calories your body can take in. This can help your body restore energy balance. Second, these surgeries change the levels of certain hormones and the way the brain responds to these hormones to control hunger urges. After surgery, some people are less interested in eating or they prefer to eat healthier foods. In some cases, genetic differences may affect how much weight loss patients experience after bariatric  surgery.

Medication adverse effects (Table 21,17,18) are common but often overlooked causative factors.17 Polypharmacy has been shown to interfere with taste and can cause anorexia.19 In addition, a variety of social factors are associated with unintentional weight loss and include poverty, alcoholism, isolation, financial constraints, and other barriers to obtaining food (e.g., impairment in activities of daily living, lack of assistance in grocery shopping or preparing meals).1 In 16% to 28% of patients, no readily identifiable cause for unintentional weight loss is determined.11–16

Classes for the obese or seniors should be taught by an experienced yoga teacher adept at adapting the traditional poses for those students who are physically challenged. Many schools, such as the American Yoga Association, have developed programs that teach yoga exercises that can be done in chairs or even in bed. Yoga practitioners say even small movements can have beneficial effects, especially when coupled with deep breathing and instruction in relaxation and meditation.

Some people gain weight when they stop smoking. One reason is that food often tastes and smells better after quitting smoking. Another reason is because nicotine raises the rate at which your body burns calories, so you burn fewer calories when you stop smoking. Smoking is a serious health risk, however, and quitting is more important to reaching a state of physical wellness than possible weight gain.

The study also ranked states on the health of their current senior populations. Massachusetts topped the list, jumping to No. 1 from the No. 6 ranking it had the last time the rankings were calculated. Vermont slipped to No. 2.

A condition in women characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism (abnormally elevated androgen levels).

Neuhouser ML, Aragaki AK, Prentice RL, et al. Overweight, obesity, and postmenopausal invasive breast cancer risk: A secondary analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative randomized clinical trials. JAMA Oncology 2015; 1(5):611-621.

Saccharin (Sweet’N Low) and aspartame (Equal) are sugar substitutes that provide little or no calories. They may be used as a substitute for table sugar. Using saccharin instead of a teaspoonful of eliminates 33 calories from the diet. People with phenylketonuria (a serious genetic disease in which an individual is unable to break down and eliminate an amino acid, phenylalanine) should not use aspartame because it contains phenylalanine.

Klein, S., et al. “Clinical Implications of Obesity With Specific Focus on Cardiovascular Disease: A Statement for Professionals From the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism: Endorsed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.” Circulation 110.18 (2004): 2952-2967.

Moderate intensity aerobic exercise, 30 minutes a day, five times per week is currently recommended for adults ages 65 and older, according to the guidelines presented by the American College Sports of Medicine (ACSM). Those who are not used to exercising can start out with a shorter duration at a lower intensity and work up to the recommendations.

The most common malabsorptive surgery is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, in which the stomach is stapled to create a small pouch, and then part of the intestine is attached to this pouch to decrease food absorption.

Obesity is increasing around the world. High body mass index now ranks with major global health problems such as childhood and maternal under-nutrition, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unsafe sex, iron deficiency, smoking, alcohol and unsafe water in total global burden of disease.

Weight loss can be intentional, such as from dieting and exercise, or unintentional and be a manifestation of illness. Weight loss can result from a decrease in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat. A decrease in body fluid can come from medications, fluid loss, lack of fluid intake, or illnesses such as diabetes. A decrease in body fat can be intentionally caused by exercise and dieting, such as for overweight or obesity. Weight loss is normal after pregnancy. Other causes of weight loss include, but are not limited to, cancer, viral infection (such as CMV or HIV), gastroenteritis, parasite infection, depression, bowel diseases, and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Several parts of your body, such as your stomach, intestines, pancreas, and fat tissue, use hormones to control how your brain decides if you are hungry or full. Some of these hormones are insulin, leptin, glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), peptide YY, and ghrelin.

The researchers argue that previous studies of longevity and obesity were biased due to limitations of the National Health Interview Survey, or NHIS, which provides information on obesity. For example, the survey excludes those who are institutionalized, such as in a hospital or nursing home — a segment largely made up of seniors. Consequently, the data is overrepresented by older respondents who are healthy, including the relatively healthy obese. What’s more, many obese people fail to make it to age 65 and therefore don’t live long enough to participate in studies of older populations.

Beyond that it’s a good idea to pick a multivitamin for your specific age group. Multivitamins that are marketed to seniors or adults over 50 years old usually contain more calcium and vitamins D and B12 with less iron. Ask your doctor if you need to supplement specific vitamins or minerals in addition to what’s in your multivitamin. Seniors are commonly deficient in vitamin D, for example. And of course, try to get most of your nutrients from healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and lean meat, poultry and fish.

He kind of rolls off the bed into a wheelchair and she has to push him to the bathroom where he walks the one step from the wheelchair to the toilet to use it. I have tried talking to his doctor numerous times and his doctor just tells him to take more pain medication for his problems. Hello? Pain medication is not going to help him lose weight, or move better. My father refuses to believe that his weight is a problem. He won’t listen to my mother, myself, or my brother.

There is a long waiting list for elderly obese residents as typically only a few overweight residents are allowed per home and it makes little financial sense for most senior living communities to offer obese care. In fact, Medicaid, which covers more than 60% of all nursing home residents, does not cover the specialized equipment necessary for obese patients.

Over the short term, certain dietary changes may lead to an attack of gout in people who have high levels of uric acid or who have had gout before. If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor before trying to lose weight.

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