Washington: New research has found that eating diets high in sugar and fat may not affect the health outcomes of older adults aged 75 and above, suggesting that placing people of such advanced age on overly restrictive diets to treat their excess weight or other conditions may have little benefit."Historically people thought of older persons as tiny and frail," said Gordon Jensen, head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State, "but that paradigm has changed for many older persons. Currently, 30 percent or more may be overweight, and by 2030, almost 30 percent are projected to be obese, not just overweight. Recent reports even suggest that there may be survival benefits associated with overweight and mild obesity status among the elderly."The team`s research is part of a decades-long collaborative study between Penn State and the Geisinger Healthcare System on the effects of nutritional status and diet on the health of more than 20,000 older people living in Pennsylvania. In the current study, the team followed 449 individuals for five years who were on average 76.5 years old at the beginning of the study.
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