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Am J Nurs. 2011 Dec;111(12):38-44; quiz 45-6. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000408184.21770.98.

Sarcopenic obesity: strategies for management.

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Valdosta State University College of Nursing, Valdosta, GA, USA.


Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass. Sarcopenic obesity, which describes the process of muscle loss combined with increased body fat as people age, is associated with loss of strength and function, reduced quality of life, and early death. This article describes the clinical significance of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity, their pathophysiology, and management strategies for healthy older adults. Both diet and exercise are essential for preventing and reversing loss of muscle and gains in fat. Dietary approaches include protein supplementation and a high protein diet. Exercise strategies promote resistance training in order to maintain muscle mass and maximize energy expenditure. Nurses should be knowledgeable about this condition and its management and routinely educate older patients on the benefits of resistance training and dietary protein to prevent or reverse sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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