Purpose of review: The present review is intended to provide a critical overview of recent investigations of obesity among older persons with emphasis upon associated functional limitations, potential for intervention, and a future research agenda.
Recent findings: Obesity is growing in prevalence among older persons. The association between obesity and functional decline is well documented. Recent findings suggest possible contributions of obesity-associated inflammatory milieu, sarcopenia, and impairment of muscle function/strength to adverse functional outcomes. A growing body of literature supports consideration of moderate weight reduction to secure improved metabolic and functional parameters for obese older persons.
Summary: Obesity is associated with an unfortunate burden of chronic disease, functional limitation, and poor life quality. In view of the growing numbers of afflicted older individuals, there must be research priority to discern how obesity impacts function so that appropriate prevention and treatment strategies may be adopted.