While many researchers focus on obesity in children, one Florida professor is looking at obesity among the elderly. Dr. Sandra Reynolds— an aging expert at the University of South Florida—poured over 5 years of data. In this month’s issue of “The Gerontologist,” she finds that people ages 70 and older—who are also obese— are more likely to have trouble with the tasks of daily life. Therefore, Reynolds says, a strong link exists between obesity among the elderly and their quality of life.
“For example, the ability to feed yourself, clothe yourself, bathe yourself, go to the toilet by yourself—without help from somebody else. The ability to carry out one’s own personal care—day to day—has something quite important to do with quality of life.”
Dr. Reynolds estimates between 13 and 14 percent of the “over 70” population is obese. That’s not as high as the general population. But, she believes this area of research is crucial—given the large population of aging baby-boomers.
Reynolds says—even for people in their 80’s and 90’s—increased activity and improved diet can make a difference. The challenge may be convincing those folks to change their lifestyles.
Tuesday, 16 August 2005 01:00