Diet study has good news for older adults trying to lose weight

Many people claim that weight loss becomes more difficult the older you get, but a new study led by the University of Warwick finds that this claim is a myth. The research was conducted at University Hospitals Coventry, where experts found that adults over the age of 60 can lose weight just as effectively as younger people.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, analyzed data on patients involved with a 'hospital-based obesity service.' The results were reassuring for older adults who want to lose weight but may feel discouraged due to popular myths about weight loss in one's golden years.

Data on 242 patients were selected from a time span from 2005 to 2016. Patient info was split into two groups, one for people under the age of 60 and the other for people between the ages of 70 and 78. As part of the obesity service the patients participated in, data was collected at the start of their participation and again when they were finished.

According to the researchers, these participants spent around the same amount of time in the program and experienced weight loss that was 'equivalent statistically.' Of note, this program only involved lifestyle changes, not surgery or medication, including things like mental health support and diet changes.

The study's lead author Dr. Thomas Barber explained:

Age should be no barrier to lifestyle management of obesity. Rather than putting up barriers to older people accessing weight loss programmes, we should be proactively facilitating that process. To do otherwise would risk further and unnecessary neglect of older people through societal ageist misconceptions.