By Dr. Karl Nadolsky
It has been well established that dietary improvements by themselves lead to weight loss much more so than prescribing exercise by itself. Combining exercise with diet is even more succesful, and the combination of weight loss with associated exercise results in overall improved physical function. There have been mixed results when comparing interventions for metabolic parameters like insulin sensitivity though most evidence shows cardiometabolic improvement with diet and exercise, but the question was raised for “older” obese patients. A recent study presented at the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting randomized 107 (93 finished) obese patients of average age 70 years to a control group, a daily 500-700 calorie deficient with 1gm/kg body weight protein diet group, exercise group (details not published), or a combination of both interventions over one year. The final results showed that weight loss was similar between diet and combination groups (10% loss) but no weight loss in the exercise or control groups and measures of cardiometabolic health were improved in the diet group and even more in the combination group. These markers included oral glucose tolerance testing, blood pressure, waist circumference, triglycerides, tumor necrosis factor receptors, and adiponectin. The bottom-line conclusion drawn was that even elderly obese patients need to have a combination of good dietary and exercise habits with a goal of getting and staying lean, especially abdominally.
These findings support our continued recommendations of diet and exercise across all age spectrums. See our diet section for more details on eating vegetables, quality protein, and a variety of quality natural fats. For exercise we recommend daily activity consisting of balanced aerobic and resistance training, preferably high intensity, but a gradual increase of volume and intensity along with monitoring by your personal physician is necessary.
Jack LaLanne once said, “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” Evidence shows that your diet is actually the king, but either way, you need to have both to have a kingdom.
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The Endocrine Society 94th Annual Meeting. Abstract #S18-1. Presented June 23, 2012