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Intentional weight loss and mortality in middle-aged and older adults: A narrative review

      Highlights

      • The evidence indicates that intentional weight loss offers improvements in health.
      • We reviewed the association between intentional weight loss and mortality in middle-aged and older adults (i.e., those aged 50 years or more).
      • No clear association was found between losing weight intentionally and mortality in middle-aged and older adults.
      • More information is required in this area, as account needs to be taken of the many confounding factors.

      Abstract

      The literature on the association between intentional weight loss and mortality rates has yielded controversial results, especially when it comes to older groups. The aim of the present narrative review was the critical evaluation of studies exploring the association between intentional weight loss and mortality in middle-aged and older adults (i.e., those aged 50 years or more). The majority of the longitudinal studies identified concluded that losing weight intentionally is not associated with mortality in middle-aged and older adults. However, when it comes to younger adults at the recruitment point, the studies have yielded more mixed results. In any case, more well-designed longitudinal studies and randomized clinical trials are needed in the area, with long follow-up periods and taking into account the underlying disease states.

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