Study: Age Does Not Affect Weight Loss

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. be comprised of / bi kəmˈpraɪzd əv / (idiom) – to be made up of something

    The book is comprised of 10 chapters.

  2. modification / ˌmɒd ə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of making changes to something

    The modification of the proposal took two days.

  3. run counter to (something) / rʌn ˈkaʊn tər tʊ / (idiom) – to be opposed or in conflict with something

    The theory runs counter to findings of recent studies.

  4. hinder / ˈhɪn dər / (v) – to prevent a person or thing from doing something

    His lack of self-confidence hindered him from starting his own business.

  5. preconceived / ˌpri kənˈsivd / (adj) – an opinion formed before seeing evidence

    My preconceived ideas about the company were all proven wrong when I started working for it.


Read the text below.

Experts from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire found that weight loss is not affected by age.

The study involved 242 obese patients who participated in a hospital-based weight loss program from 2005 to 2016. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was comprised of participants younger than 60 years old, while the other had participants aged 60 to 78. Both groups focused only on lifestyle modification, which included dietary and psychological support.

Results showed that there was no significant difference between the average amount of weight lost by the two groups. Participants in the younger group lost 7.3% of their body weight, while participants in the older group lost 6.9%. The findings run counter to the common belief that weight loss becomes more difficult as people age.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), around 43% of US citizens above 60 years old are obese. Based on previous studies, more than 50 related medical conditions come with obesity and accumulate later in life. Some of these health conditions are type 2 diabetes, cancer, and depression.

Because of the possible health consequences of obesity, Dr. Thomas Barber, lead author of the current study, believes that effective weight management for older people suffering from the condition should be prioritized. He explained that age should never hinder people from managing their lifestyles to maintain health. He hopes that the study will also help eliminate any preconceived beliefs about weight loss in old age.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What aspects of personal health should older people focus on (e.g. mental health, emotional/spiritual health)? Discuss.
• Do you think older people in your country are healthier than older people in other countries? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What activities do you think people should continue doing even when they get older (e.g. pursuing their passions, traveling)? Discuss.
• Are there any activities that people should stop doing when they get older (e.g. eating unhealthy food, supporting their children)? Discuss.