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Seniors and Obesity

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istock_000018798536xsmallBethany Village is dedicated to building awareness wiyh readers. The Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index recently collected data and studied obesity over several age groups, including the elderly. Researchers use the information to study how Americans maintain health and nutritional needs while aging.

Researches discovered that obesity is increasing in all populations in America, including the elderly. In fact, obesity is rising most among older adults. Over 14% of 84- to 87-year-olds are obese today. In the last four years, that has grown by more than 2%.

For seniors and older adults, obesity has become a more pressing issue. Obesity begins as Americans get older before declining once a person hits their early 70’s. Gallup-Healthways data indicates that middle aged adults and advanced seniors, are the most likely to see a rising in the percentage of people with higher obesity rates than from four years ago. If these patterns continue, these age groups will see significant growth of obesity in the future.

To ensure that seniors and older adults do not see long term or short term implications, more action can be taken. To protect the well being and quality of life in this age demographic, researchers have suggested, more effort to helping seniors stay active and informed about ways to do so can really make a difference. Craig Cole, exercise physiologist at Bethany Village helps seniors and older adults stay active/healthy everyday! He has some tips to help you maintain an active, healthier lifestyle:

  • Join or create a walking group with neighbors, friends, or relatives. This creates more enjoyment, motivation and adherence.
  • Join an exercise class that focuses on senior health if you are 60 yrs or older. If you are younger than 60, look for an exercise class that is appropriate for you and can help establish a good start point for exercising. Make sure to talk with your doctor before exercising in the event there are any precautions you should take.
  • Do not stop eating or “fast.” While this may result in weight loss, there are negative impacts to the body that occur such as reduction in lean muscle mass, reduction in energy, psychological effects, etc.
  • Enjoy your fruits and vegetables. The different types of fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
  • Try to avoid processed foods with high sugar, flour and saturated fat content. Be watchful of foods that are high in “energy density” (high calories in small portions) such as those found at fast food restaurants.
  • Keep a log book of the calories you take in versus what your body is recommended as needing. If your calorie totals are more than you need, your body will retain them and weight gain will occur.
  • Talk with your doctor about any dietary recommendations they have for you or who they would refer you too to discuss dietary concerns. Each person has different dietary situations.


Written by Bethany Village

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