Obesity Poses Risks for Seniors

Go4Life and stay physically fit. (NIA)

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers obesity to be a worldwide epidemic and obesity is at an all-time high rate in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. In 2015-16, 39.8% of all Americans were obese and about 93.3 million American adults were obese. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion US dollars and the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Obesity affects 41% of seniors over age 60 in the United States and being overweight and having a high body mass is a high risk factor for many preventable diseases such as:

  • Coronary heart disease, which is the number one leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Some kinds of Cancer – Cancer, is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Stroke – Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States
  • Type 2 diabetes – Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and in turn raises the risk for many other diseases and medical conditions such as a loss of limbs due to amputations.
  • High blood pressure which raises the risk for cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks.
  • Dementia is associated with a large waist circumference and being overweight around the age of 50 according to a study published 2017 in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Journal.

Causes of Obesity

While a few causes of obesity are due to genetic factors and hormone imbalances, especially with the thyroid gland, obesity is mainly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle that includes making bad food choices and not getting enough physical exercise.

Psychological factors include:

People who eat even though they are not hungry

People who are binge eaters.

People who have no control over snacking between meals.

People who eat when they are nervous, unhappy or angry.

Preventing Obesity by Healthy Living

It is crucial to follow healthy eating patterns and to get a lot of physical exercise.

 Healthy Weight Website

Visit the CDC’s Healthy Weight Website to learn how to balance calories, lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight. Also the Choose My Plate website can help you with meal planning and dietary guides and expert advice on getting the five main food groups that are the building blocks to good health in your daily diet.

Choose My Plate

Healthy eating habits are a key factor for a healthy weight. Visit the ChooseMyPlate website; look up nutritional information about foods, track your calorie intake, plan meals, and find healthy recipes and also how to eat healthy if you are on a tight budget.


Physical activity is important for health and a healthy weight. Learn about different kinds of physical activity and the guidelines for the amount needed each day with free lessons and videos at the Go4Life website of the National Institute of Aging.

Short or Long-term Skilled Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility

If you are searching for a skilled short or long-term nursing care solution for your loved one, then look for a place that puts emphasis on good nutrition like the Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Galloway Township, New Jersey. Royal Suites has an onsite chef who prepares nutritious healthy meals under the supervision and guidance of a registered dietitian. Special dietary needs are accommodated with a variety of selections, so that there is something to please everyone’s tastes. Royal Suites also offers diabetes care and monitoring.


If you or your loved one are overweight, it pays to make lifestyle changes and to bring your weight down in the hope you can avoid many chronic and dangerous diseases that can come from being overweight including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer and dementia.


Leave a Comment