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The association between fat free mass and physical performance in overweight and obese older adults

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The association between fat free mass and physical performance in overweight and obese older adults

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Rationale: Obesity worsens age-related decline in physical performance. A high BMI, however, is not only related to a higher fat mass (FM), but also to a higher fat-free mass (FFM). For dietetic treatment it is relevant to know how body composition, specifically FFM, is related to physical performance in the growing population of older overweight and obese adults. Method: We included 246 overweight and obese adults (55-80 years old) in a cross-sectional analysis and studied the association between FFM parameters (FFM in kg, FFM index in kg/m2 (FFMi) and FFM%) and physical performance (handgrip strength (HGS), 4m gait speed (4mGS), 400mGS and time to perform 5 chair stands (CS)). FFM and FM were measured by air displacement plethysmography. Linear regression analysis was performed with determinant FFM in kg, FFMi, and FFM% using physical performance measures as outcome variables. Adjustments were made for sex (and height for CS). Because age was an effect modifier for HGS and 4mGS in the three FFM models, analyses were stratified for age (younger: 55-65 years old vs. older: 66-80 years old). Results: The mean age of the subjects was 64±5 years with a BMI of 33±5 kg/m2. 43% were men. FFM in kg and FFMi show no significant association with physical performance measures. FFM% was significantly associated with all physical performance measures. For all subjects, in the crude model, an increase of 1% in FFM% was associated with +1.6 kg in HGS, +0.01m/s 4mGS, +0.01m/s 400mGS and decrease in the 5x chair stand -0.1s CS (p<0.01). The adjusted model (sex and height CS) shows an increase of 1% in FFM% was associated with +0.6kg HGS, +0.01s/m 4mGS, +0.01s/m 400mGS (p<0.01). The adjusted ‘younger’ group shows that an increase of 1% in FFM% was significantly associated with +0.01s/m 440mGS (p<0.01). The adjusted ‘older’ group shows an increase of 1% in FFM% was associated with +1.4 kg HGS, +0.02s/m 4mGS, +0.02s/m 400mGS (p<0.01). Conclusion: A higher FFM% is significantly associated with better physical performance in older obese adults, while the absolute amount of FFM in kg and FFMi showed no significant association. In conclusion: FFM% seems to be the better parameter to predict physical performance in overweight and obese ‘older’ elderly, than ‘younger’ elderly people. These findings support that weight loss treatment should focus on FFM preservation and FM loss in overweight and obese older adults. This means that dieticians should promote physical activity throughout the treatment for overweight and obese elderly people.

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
OpleidingVoeding en Diëtetiek
AfdelingBewegen, Sport en Voeding
Jaar2016
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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