Different institutions, including the University of Valencia (UV), have studied the relationship between sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass in the elderly) and obesity derived from this condition with a lack of protein in the diet of women of over 65 years old. 164 Valencian women participated in the study, published in the journal NutriciÃ³n Hospitalaria.
The sarcopenia approach has a huge impact on the quality of life of older people, allowing them to maintain their daily activities and independence for many years to come and in optimal health. “
Julio FernÃ¡ndez Garrido, professor, UV Department of Nursing
The results of the study showed that among the women who participated, with an average age of 72 years, 26.2% had an intake below that recommended by the WHO, 25.6% were at some stage of sarcopenia and 12% were affected by sarcopenic obesity. . On the other hand, 73.8% of women had higher protein intake than recommended, which was linked to a higher energy intake pattern. Sarcopenia also causes loss of muscle strength and function, as well as weakness, fatigue, and problems with balance and mobility.
According to the team, this work shows the need for further research and “to establish protein intake recommendations in line with the realities of the elderly and to establish effective public health policies that highlight the relevance particular of this macronutrient in the aging process â.
The Healthy, Active and Participatory Aging Chair signed between the City of Valence and the UV played an important role in the research, because it laid the foundations on which to develop the study. The results of this research can also be implemented in municipal seniors’ centers, where many of the Chair’s activities take place.
Study participants followed their diet for three days during which their nutrient intake was assessed. They also underwent a series of physical tests to measure strength, balance and speed, functions affected by sarcopenia. The results of women diagnosed with sarcopenia and obesity were then cross-tabulated to establish the percentage of women with sarcopenic obesity.