Drugs & Aging

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 97–101 | Cite as

Is Obesity Worth Treating in the Elderly?

  • Rosa María Ortega
  • Pedro Andrés
Leading Article


Obesity is associated with a range of health problems and affects an increasing number of people. However, the body mass index (BMI) that is associated with minimum mortality increases with age. Therefore, when a bodyweight loss programme is initiated, the possible benefits should be carefully measured against the potential risks.

Elderly people with severe obesity, or those who have associated health risks such as hypertension or diabetes mellitus, are in greatest need of bodyweight control. The use of drugs may be advisable in some individuals, but the treatment duration should be short and administered under strict supervision.

Many studies have shown that habitual, moderate physical activity and dietary improvement (i.e. moderating fat intake, avoiding micronutrient deficiencies and increasing fibre consumption) can be useful in achieving bodyweight control in the elderly. These measures are especially effective in improving nutritional status and may therefore be recommended in elderly individuals.


Obesity Metformin Adis International Limited Fluoxetine Fenfluramine 
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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa María Ortega
    • 1
  • Pedro Andrés
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Faculty of PharmacyUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  2. 2.Technical Instrumentation Laboratory, Faculty of PharmacyUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

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