The relevance of diet, physical activity, exercise, and persuasive technology in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenic obesity in older adults

Josje D. Schoufour, Michael Tieland, Rocco Barazzoni, Somaya Ben Allouch, Joey van der Bie, Yves Boirie, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Doris Eglseer, Eva Topinková, Bart Visser, Trudy Voortman, Amalia Tsagari, Peter J. M. Weijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The aging population faces two conditions that threaten healthy aging: high fat mass (obesity) and low muscle mass and function (sarcopenia). The combination of both—referred to as sarcopenic obesity—synergistically increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. The two conditions often co-occur because they reinforce each other and share common etiologies, including poor nutrition and inactivity. All aging people are at risk of gaining weight and losing muscle mass and could benefit from improvements in physical activity, exercise and dietary intake. one specific window of opportunity is during the transient time of retirement, as older adults already need to restructure their daily activities. It is key to change lifestyle behavior in a sustainable manner, providing scientifically proven, personalized, and acceptable principles that can be integrated in daily life. Health technologies (e.g., applications) can provide promising tools to deliver personalized and appealing lifestyle interventions to a large group of people while keeping health care costs low. Several studies show that health technologies have a strong positive effect on physical activity, exercise and dietary intake. Specifically, health technology is increasingly applied to older people, although strong evidence for long term effects in changing lifestyle behavior is generally lacking. Concluding, technology could play an important role in the highly warranted prevention of sarcopenic obesity in older adults. Although health technology seems to be a promising tool to stimulate changes in physical activity, exercise and dietary intake, studies on long lasting effects and specifically targeted on older people around the time of retirement are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number661449
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021

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