Good news for all of your patients over 70 who might want a second run at the dessert buffet: Overweight adults over the age of 70 are less likely to die over a 10-year period than their normal-weight peers, according to a new study out of Australia, which, by the way, is the world’s third most obese nation behind the US and UK.
Lead researcher Leon Flicker, of the University of Western Australia, studied over 9,200 people ages 70 – 75, followed them for 10 years (or until death) and grouped them into one of four weight classes: underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Those who were overweight — a step below obese — faced a 13 percent lower risk of death compared with those who were normal weight. There was no benefit found for those who were obese. Sedentary lifestyles, however, doubled the risk of death for women and raised it by one-quarter for men.
Flicker said that his findings show that body mass index threshholds established by the World Health Organization for older adults are “overly restrictive.” The study is published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.