Healthy weight for older adults
Being a healthy weight has many benefits, no matter what our age.
But what is a healthy weight for older adults?
As we age, the way we define “healthy weight” changes.
Measures to determine healthy weight – including Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and comparisons of muscle to body fat – have their limitations, particularly when used for older adults.
These measurements in older adults need to be carried out by a medical professional who can tell if there are any health risks that may associated with your weight.
If you are unsure about your weight – including being underweight or overweight – you should seek advice from a doctor.
As we age, unfortunately we lose muscle mass. This can lead to several problems, especially an increased risk of falls. The good news is, we can help slow down the loss of muscle through specific physical activities, being active everyday and eating well as we age .
How to maintain a healthy weight for older adults
Are you trying to maintain a healthy weight, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our healthy weight tips.
Like everyone, the best way to maintain a healthy weight as we get older is to eat well and be active. However, having specific advice about how to do this as an older adult can help, so why not have a look at the two pages below for some simple tips:
If you need help to stay a healthy weight, you might be interested in the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service.
Simply being overweight as an older adult may not mean that we need to lose weight – our general health can be more important. Weight loss is more often advised for those older adults who suffer from related health problems and would benefit from being in the healthy weight range. Always speak to your doctor before trying to lose weight.
Exercise is a key ingredient for older people who need to lose weight. This exercise, together with healthy eating (including plenty of protein-rich foods), will help to reduce the loss of muscle that might happen as we lose weight.
Unexpected weight loss
Of course, sometimes older adults can lose weight unintentionally. So if you’ve noticed that you are dropping weight without meaning to, this could be harmful to your health. It is important to ask for help from health professionals such as your doctor.
This is general information for older adults in good health. If you are in poor health or have a particular health condition(s), you should seek individual advice from a medical professional.