Barber and his team retrospectively examined data from a hospital-based obesity service designed to drive weight loss through lifestyle interventions. This involved a total of 242 randomly selected patients who took part in the service between 2005 and 2016, with the researchers splitting them into two groups – one made up of people under 60 years of age who spent an average of 41.5 months in the program, and one consisting of people aged between 60 and 78 who spent an average of 33.6 months in the program.
The service relied on lifestyle changes such as diet, encouragement of physical activity and psychological support, which were tailored to each patient. All had their body weight measured before and after the program, allowing the researchers to calculate a percentage reduction as a result of it.
The differences in the results were similar; with the group 60 years and above reducing their body weight by 7.3 percent on average. The group below 60 years of age, meanwhile, reduced their body weight by 6.9 percent on average.
The researchers hope studies of this type can help dispel myths about the difficulties of losing weight as an older person.