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Mediterranean diet provides many benefits to overweight and obese seniors

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight and weight problems as extreme fats accumulations, posing well being dangers. A Spanish survey indicated a big enhance in weight problems (from 7.4 % to 17.4%.) between 1987 and 2017. Interestingly, it was noticed that weight problems is extra prevalent in males than in girls who’re beneath 65 years of age. However, past the age of 65, weight problems in girls outnumbered males.

Study: Effectiveness of a Two-Year Multicomponent Intervention for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Older People. Image Credit: Marian Weyo / Shutterstock


Industrialization, meals market globalization, financial improvement, and urbanization have considerably contributed to modifications within the world inhabitants’s consuming habits. Some of those modifications have led to a rise within the alternative of low-nutrition meals, reminiscent of refined, processed, and high-fat meals. High consumption of those meals and sedentary existence trigger weight problems. Obesity is recurrently related to a number of continual ailments, together with sort II diabetes, hypertension, the event of neurodegenerative ailments, and most cancers.

Obesity is primarily present in older individuals. Due to a rise in life expectancy and a discount in start fee, globally, a surge within the older inhabitants has been reported. In Spain, the variety of people above the age of 64 reached 9.28 million in 2020.

Suitable interventions primarily based on correct diet and train can efficiently promote weight reduction in older adults. Nevertheless, improper utility of those interventions can adversely have an effect on their muscle tissues, diet ranges, and bone well being. In addition, low ranges of important nutritional vitamins and minerals may cause malnutrition, which could enhance the danger of mortality and morbidity.

Aging alters physique composition in older individuals, the place lean mass decreases and fats mass will increase. Therefore, improper weight reduction interventions might worsen the pure lack of muscle mass as a result of weight reduction causes not solely a discount of fats mass (FM) but in addition fat-free mass (FFM). Nevertheless, well-structured and supervised weight reduction interventions are secure and efficient for older individuals with optimistic well being benefits.

Instead of single interventions, i.e., bodily exercise or dietary restrictions, a mixture of each confirmed optimistic outcomes. A current Nutrients journal research evaluated the effectiveness of a two-year intervention program primarily based on Mediterranean diet patterns for treating overweight older individuals and these with weight problems.

About the Study

A complete of 51 individuals above the age of 60 years and belonging to the Mediterranean metropolis of Alicante (Spain) had been included on this research. All members’ physique mass index (BMI) was better than 25 kg/m2. Participants had been randomly assigned to two teams, i.e., the experimental and management teams, and they had been matched at baseline for medical variables.

Participants within the experimental group obtained customized coaching for meals schooling, weight administration, and psychological help. The dietary–dietary intervention was supplied by a talented dietician–nutritionist. The members’ weight reduction was monitored, and their consuming conduct was recorded. Every participant was evaluated 6, 12, and 24 months after the baseline analysis.

Assessment of meals consumption by the members was carried out by the Food Frequency (MEDIS-FFQ) questionnaire, and the extent of adhering to the beneficial diet was assessed via the Mediterranean Diet Prevention Group (PREDIMED) questionnaire. In addition, psychological evaluations, such because the severity of melancholy signs, had been carried out via the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire). The values in these questionnaires had been recorded as scores. 

Study Findings

A big weight reduction that included a lower in fats mass, BMI, and discount in waist circumference occurred within the experimental group after two years of dietary dietary intervention. However, no distinction was noticed between the 2 teams regarding the hip circumference or waist-hip index.

Based on the evaluation carried out over two years, the experimental and management teams reported improved scores associated to the PHQ-9 questionnaire. However, over time, no important enchancment was noticed within the PREDIMED and GAD-7 scores. The doable cause behind the shortage of enhancements within the GAD-7 scores may very well be that the time of intervention coincided with the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. The nationwide lockdown considerably decreased social interplay, which could have impacted anxiousness ranges. An improved PHQ-9 questionnaire rating additionally displays a decreased threat of continual ailments.

No important enchancment in scores of each teams associated to adherence to the Mediterranean diet was noticed. However, it have to be famous that the experimental group members confirmed good adherence to MD at the beginning of the intervention, as evidenced by excessive preliminary scores.


The research has a number of limitations, together with a small pattern dimension. Additionally, the generalization of the findings is proscribed as a result of all members belonged to a single metropolis in Spain. However, the general assessments of the two-year intervention primarily based on the Mediterranean diet point out that older individuals with weight problems expertise important weight reduction together with a discount in BMI, proportion of fats mass, and waist circumference. 

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