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 major 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 under 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 growth, 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, comparable to refined, processed, and high-fat meals. High consumption of those meals and sedentary existence trigger weight problems. Obesity is frequently related to a number of persistent ailments, together with kind 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 beginning 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 groups, vitamin ranges, and bone well being. In addition, low ranges of important nutritional vitamins and minerals may cause malnutrition, which could enhance the chance 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 mix of each confirmed optimistic outcomes. A latest 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) have been included on this research. All individuals’ physique mass index (BMI) was higher than 25 kg/m2. Participants have been randomly assigned to two teams, i.e., the experimental and management teams, and they have been matched at baseline for medical variables.

Participants within the experimental group acquired customized coaching for meals training, weight administration, and psychological help. The dietary–dietary intervention was supplied by a talented dietician–nutritionist. The individuals’ 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 individuals was carried out by the Food Frequency (MEDIS-FFQ) questionnaire, and the extent of adhering to the really useful diet was assessed by the Mediterranean Diet Prevention Group (PREDIMED) questionnaire. In addition, psychological evaluations, such because the severity of melancholy signs, have been performed by the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire). The values in these questionnaires have been recorded as scores. 

Study Findings

A major 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 in regards to 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 vital enchancment was noticed within the PREDIMED and GAD-7 scores. The potential purpose behind the dearth of enhancements within the GAD-7 scores might be that the time of intervention coincided with the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. The nationwide lockdown considerably lowered social interplay, which could have impacted nervousness ranges. An improved PHQ-9 questionnaire rating additionally displays a lowered threat of persistent ailments.

No vital 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 individuals confirmed good adherence to MD at the beginning of the intervention, as evidenced by excessive preliminary scores.


The research has just a few limitations, together with a small pattern dimension. Additionally, the generalization of the findings is restricted as a result of all individuals 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 vital weight reduction together with a discount in BMI, share of fats mass, and waist circumference.

Recommended For You