There is a common perception among those in the field of Geriatrics that weight loss occurring in the elderly is a bad idea. In the past, doctors were hesitant to ask overweight adults to lose weight fearing it might not be wise. This is because an underlying illness has often been behind the unintentional weight loss.
Previous studies had shown that a higher death rate might be linked to this weight loss. A recent study, however, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that losing a few pounds on purpose does not seem to cause any harm.
Author, Stephen Kritchevsky and his colleagues at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. looked at data from a past study of overweight and obese adults with high blood pressure. On average, participants had lost close to 10 lbs., after receiving aid in how to lose weight and maintain it.
Twelve years later, the researchers used national death records to figure out which of the original participants were still alive. The good news is that while weight loss may not add years to your life, it won't subtract them either.