Washington D.C., April 5 (ANI): Obese older adults, who have limited ability to exercise to lose weight and increase physical function, can now shed kilos by eating more protein from foods like lean beef, as part of a reduced-calorie diet.
The new research, supported by the Beef Checkoff, contributes to the growing body of evidence that shows lean beef and other high-quality protein foods are beneficial for health, including overweight and obese people looking to reduce weight.
Obesity in older adults contributes to negative health outcomes, leading to a potential loss of independence due to reduced muscle strength and limited ability to perform activities of daily living.
Drs. Connie Bales said that until recently, weight-loss regimens were not recommended for obese older adults due to concerns about further loss of muscle mass, especially in those who could not exercise.
He added while more recent research shows that engaging in exercise may preserve lean mass in obese older adults, they wanted to look at an intervention that would allow these individuals to start losing weight without exercise to account for functional impairments that may make regular exercise difficult.
Meanwhile, researcher Shalene McNeill said that high-quality protein like lean beef has unique benefits for health. A substantial body of evidence shows the nutrients in beef, such as protein, can help satisfy hunger and maintain a healthy weight and build and maintain muscle. Beef is an important source of nutrients, including iron, zinc and B-vitamins, for optimal health.
Although more research is needed, results from this study are encouraging and support the idea that protein-enhanced meals, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, can foster improvements in physical function during periods of weight loss in obese older adults.
The research appears in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. (ANI)