A new article in the journal Future Science OA, a publication of the Future Science Group (FSG), analyzes updated data on sarcopenic obesity and highlights the need for public health strategies to prevent and treat it.
The article is titled “Physical activity and sarcopenic obesity: definition, assessment, prevalence and mechanism.”
Excess calorie intake, physical inactivity, low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance, and changes in hormone production may lead to the development of sarcopenic obesity – a condition that combines low muscle mass with high fat mass.
Sarcopenic obesity is more frequently diagnosed in older adults due to natural changes in the body associated with aging. The condition may become a real public health concern due to sedentary lives people are used to living and the increasing number of jobs where sitting down for long periods is necessary.
“Although the adverse health impact of sarcopenic obesity in aging populations is rapidly growing in most developed countries, there is very little evidence on sarcopenic obesity,” Duck-Chul Lee, first author of the study and an assistant professor at Iowa State University, said in a press release.
“Physical activity has been recognized as a key lifestyle factor to prevent and delay muscle loss and obesity with aging; however, few data are currently available on the effects of physical activity on sarcopenic obesity in older adults,” Lee said. “This review highlights the importance of the urgent investigation and development of universal definition, assessment, and diagnosis of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity for both research studies and clinical practice.”
Evidence in the article suggests that older adults with sarcopenic obesity are also at an increased risk of developing mobility conditions, metabolic disease, or hypertension, among others. Available data on prevention and treatment of the condition is limited due to different methods of definition and assessment.
The review aims to coordinate data to help increase the scientific and medical communities’ understanding of the condition and search for better, more effective, health strategies.
“Given its rapidly increasing health impact, it is clear we need to identify effective public health strategies and programs to both treat and prevent sarcopenic obesity. In order to do this, we need to standardize its definition and assessment. We hope this article will help move research forward in this arena,” said Future Science OA Managing Editor Francesca Lake.