Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Sarcopenia and obesity

Zamboni, Mauroa,b; Rubele, Sofiaa,b; Rossi, Andrea P.a,b

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: January 2019 - Volume 22 - Issue 1 - p 13–19
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000519
AGEING: BIOLOGY AND NUTRITION: Edited by Jürgen M. Bauer and John E. Morley

Purpose of review Together with age-related body composition changes, the increased prevalence of obesity observed in the past few decades in older individuals has led to a condition called sarcopenic obesity, characterized by a mismatch between muscle mass and fat mass. The operative definition of sarcopenic obesity is still under discussion and creates difficulties in clinical practice. Muscle weakness, rather than low muscle mass, was previously proposed as an alternative criterion and, more recently, the dynapenic abdominal obese phenotype is of increasing interest because of its unfavorable health consequences and usability in clinical practice.

Recent findings This review focuses on the most recent findings of pathogenic inter-relationships between adipose tissue and muscle. Recent studies on health consequences of sarcopenic obesity and dynapenic abdominal obesity are also examined. Despite the lack of consensus on a definition for sarcopenic obesity, progress has been made in the delineation of the treatment principles for this condition.

Summary Further research is needed to compare different definitions of sarcopenic/dynapenic obesity to clarify the relationship between obesity and the most important adverse outcomes in the elderly. The next step will be the definition of best possible therapeutic approaches for this condition.

aGeriatric Division, Department of Medicine, University of Verona

bHealthyAging Center Verona, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona, Verona, Italy

Correspondence to Mauro Zamboni, MD, Geriatric Division, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, HealthyAging Center, Ospedale Maggiore, Piazzale Stefani 1, 37126 Verona, Italy. Tel: +39 45 8122537; fax: +39 45 8122043; e-mail:

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.