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2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Systematic Reviews

Systematic Review Question

For older adults (age>65), what is the effect of weight loss versus weight maintenance on health outcomes (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and mortality)?

Conclusion Statement

Weight loss in older adults has been associated with an increased risk of mortality, but because most studies have not differentiated between intentional vs. unintentional weight loss, recommending intentional weight loss has not been possible. Recently, however, moderate evidence of a reduced risk of mortality with intentional weight loss in older persons has been published. Intentional weight loss among overweight and obese older adults, therefore, is recommended. In addition, with regard to morbidity, moderate evidence suggests that intentional weight loss in older adults has been associated with reduced development of type 2 diabetes and improved cardiovascular risk factors. There are insufficient data on cancer to come to a conclusion. Weight gain produces increased risk for several health outcomes.

2010 DGAC Grade: Moderate