Addressing Obesity Among the Elderly


The following topic is of interest to me due to my personal experience of staying with my parents, who are ageing between 60 to 68 years old. I decided to embark on this area of research due to my interest in exploring the causes of a rapidly increasing number of obesity populations, ways of arresting the rapid increase, and ways of reducing obesity among the elderly population. Since my childhood, I have seen and sympathized with people suffering from obesity, and thus, I developed an interest in doing some researches on the above topic. The diagnosis has killed and affected many of my old friends and relatives.


Obesity is a condition characterized by excess body fat that raises the chance of developing health issues (Muscogiuri et al., 2019). Obesity is a multifactorial condition that develops as a result of genetic and environmental interaction (De Lorenzo et al., 2019). It affects a significant proportion of the population in underdeveloped nations, including genders, of all generations and socio-economic classes. Its proliferation has risen at unprecedented trends of recent decades, and it has now attained lead to suicidal thoughts.

Obesity in Elderly Population

Obesity has been related to chronic diseases and early death, but how strong these associations are in the elderly is debatable. Obesity is a worldwide health issue that affects people of all ages, including the elderly, in developed and developing countries. Obesity is increasing even among the oldest age groups of these countries' populations, with a proportionally higher number of older adults living to older generations. Obesity rates among the elderly in the United States range from 42.5 per cent among women aged 60 to 69 years to 19 per cent among those aged 80 and up (Arbel et al., 2019). Obesity affects 38.1 per cent of men between the ages of 60 and 69 and 9.6 per cent of men aged 80 and up (Wei-Wei et al., 2017). Even though the incidence is considerably lower in Europe, it remains a severe health challenge. In the UK, obesity affects 21% of female proportion and 13% of gents of approximate age of 73 and up (Howell et al., 2020). These statistics are alarming, particularly given the world's growing elderly population.

As people get older, they can anticipate higher and lower dissemination of fat, sarcopenia, low physical operations, unhealthy fitness, chronic inflammation, and variations of hormones. Obesity, especially abdominal obesity, is a clinical indicator and risk factor for several chronic diseases and early adult mortality. These clinical factors and their relations influence all the aetiology, onset, length, health care, and effects of obesity in older years. Whenever these contributing factors are combined, ageing is accelerated, and the expense of acute and rehabilitation of chronic and palliative care for the aged rises. Obesity in the elderly appears to protect against health complications and morbid conditions, including hip fractures. Regardless, an increase in the percentage of obese older adults in a population is an important public health issue. The implication for treatment and the healthcare system's financial aspects must be carefully considered.


Inequalities are characterized as structural disparities in well-being, which can be eliminated through effective policy action and are therefore considered unequal and unjust. It is essential first to consider the causes of these health inequities to formulate effective action. Many other factors, such as living and working environments, and perhaps even the broader macro-policies in place in a specific region, result in health disparities. Imbalances in wellbeing are exacerbated by the inequality of these health determinants, such as resources, earnings, products and services, flawed and unfair standards of living, and the disparities in health-damaging practices that these broader determinants create. In many European countries, inequalities in obesity prevalence have been observed based on race (Bibbins-Domingo & K., 2020). An analysis of elderly population obesity in German immigrant groups discovered that socio-economic and factors accounted for almost of the race’s disparities in obesity, increased proportion learning stages, and excessive TV watching (de Moraes et al., 2019). In the UK, the South Asian community is less physically active than the white society, and Roma’s populations has a higher proportion of older population and adult obesity compared to that of non-Roma populations in various countries.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity manifests in little and medium-aged people as an unnecessary weight of the body and adipose tissue (Janssen et al., 2019). Obesity in the elderly, however, is more naturally and anatomically complicated, making it more challenging to measure. Changes in body composition increase diversification in the quantities and frequency of muscle and fat amongst race and ethnic associations as people age, which was not the case in younger generations. Obesity appears as a rise in overweight and zero fat mass in medium and moderately aged population, but, as fat-free mass decreases with age, obesity occurs in the elderly as a high proportion of body fat and under-sized body weight. Consequently, the fat rate in older adults is higher than the fat percentage in younger adults with the same BMI. The distribution of body fat in these older people varies, with fatness moving from the limbs to the trunk. Overall, fat levels remain constant, while fatty tissue penetration increases.

Some elderly people may develop a condition known as "sarcopenic obesity" due to these changes, a new nosographic entity that arises when chronic disease and frailty coexist. People who are sarcophagus and obese are more likely to have physical impairments and disabilities, metabolic syndrome, and co-morbidity. According to the Framingham Heart Study, obesity in adulthood is related to an increased risk of death, with obese individuals living six to seven years longer than their normal-weight peers do at the age of 40. According to another statement based on the several United States figure estimates US Life Tables of 1999, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES III, the second NHANES, and first and the NHANES II Mortality Study, obesity degrades living anticipation, especially in more youthful adults (Woodward et al., 2020).

According to Luhar et al. (2020), the average years of adulthood lost in obese white men and women between 19–31 is 14 and 7 years, collectively. The correlation between body weight and fatality in the aged is problematical; however, excellent weight modifies by generation, species, and member, and weight is joined with continuation in more grown populations. The majority of recent research indicates a curvilinear corelations between obesity and death risk, with death risk rising as one becomes heavier and leaner (Burke et al., 2018). Even so, in overweight, stable adults, the risk of death is declining. However, it's unclear if the overweight elderly's longer lives are due to correlations with or differences from normal-weight subjects in some of these studies.


The findings discussed in this review indicate that the obesity in aged population is becoming an area of concern since it is literally sweeping the population aged between 60-69 years. This literature review aims to find, survey, and critically assess existing controlled and clinical details on the effects of obesity on deaths in the elderly people to demonstrate better and heighten our knowledge of the intricate association among obesity in ageing generation and the uncertainty of deaths.

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Arbel, Y., Fialkoff, C., & Kerner, A. (2019). The association of pension income with the incidence of type I obesity among retired Israelis. Journal of obesity, 2019.

Bibbins-Domingo, K., 2020. This time must be different: disparities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Burke, D. T., Al-Adawi, S., Jain, N. B., & Burke, D. P. (2018). The effect of body mass index on rehabilitation of patients with amputation. JPO: Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 30(4), 202-206.

De Lorenzo, A., Gratteri, S., Gualtieri, P., Cammarano, A., Bertucci, P., & Di Renzo, L. (2019). Why primary obesity is a disease? Journal of translational medicine, 17(1), 1-13.

de Moraes, M.M., Moreira, N.F., de Oliveira, A.S.D., Cunha, D.B., Sichieri, R. and da Veiga, G.V., 2019. Associations of changes in BMI and body fat percentage with demographic and socioeconomic factors: The ELANA middle school cohort. International Journal of Obesity, 43(11), pp.2282-2290.

Howell, C. R., Wilson, C. L., Yasui, Y., Srivastava, D. K., Lu, W., Bjornard, K. L., ... & Ness, K. K. (2020). Neighbourhood effect and obesity in adult survivors of paediatric cancer: A report from the St. Jude lifetime cohort study. International journal of cancer, 147(2), 338-349.

Janssen, L. G., Jauhiainen, M., Olkkonen, V. M., Haridas, P. A., Nahon, K. J., Rensen, P. C., & Boon, M. R. (2019). Short-term cooling increases plasma ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8 in young healthy lean men but not in middle-aged men with overweight and prediabetes. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(8), 1214.

Luhar, S., Timæus, I. M., Jones, R., Cunningham, S., Patel, S. A., Kinra, S., ... & Houben, R. (2020). Forecasting the prevalence of overweight and obesity in India to 2040. PloS one, 15(2), e0229438.

Muscogiuri, G., Cantone, E., Cassarano, S., Tuccinardi, D., Barrea, L., Savastano, S., & Colao, A. (2019). Gut microbiota: a new path to treat obesity. International journal of obesity supplements, 9(1), 10-19.

Wei-Wei, C. H. E. N., Run-Lin, G. A. O., Li-Sheng, L. I. U., Man-Lu, Z. H. U., Wen, W. A. N. G., Yong-Jun, W. A. N. G., ... & Sheng-Shou, H. U. (2017). China cardiovascular diseases report 2015: a summary. Journal of geriatric cardiology: JGC, 14(1), 1.

Woodward, M. J., Obsekov, V., Jacobson, M. H., Kahn, L. G., & Trasande, L. (2020). Phthalates and sex steroid hormones among men from NHANES, 2013–2016. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 105(4), e1225-e1234.

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