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Prevention and Treatment of Sarcopenic Obesity in Women

Unit of Metabolic Diseases and Clinical Dietetics, Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, “Alma Mater” University, via G. Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy
Department of Eating and Weight Disorders, Villa Garda Hospital, via Monte Baldo 89, 37016 Garda (VR), Italy
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, via G.C. Pupilli 1, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Department of Radiology, Auckland City Hospital, Park Road, Grafton, 1023 Auckland, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1302; (registering DOI)
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Challenges in Women From Mid- to Older Age)
PDF [553 KB, uploaded 8 June 2019]


Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is referred to as the combination of obesity with low skeletal muscle mass and function. However, its definition and diagnosis is debated. SO represents a sizable risk factor for the development of disability, possibly with a worse prognosis in women. The present narrative review summarizes the current evidence on pharmacological, nutrition and exercise strategies on the prevention and/or treatment of SO in middle-aged and older-aged women. A literature search was carried out in Medline and Google Scholar between 29th January and 14th March 2019. Only controlled intervention studies on mid-age and older women whose focus was on the prevention and/or treatment of sarcopenia associated with obesity were included. Resistance training (RT) appears effective in the prevention of all components of SO in women, resulting in significant improvements in muscular mass, strength, and functional capacity plus loss of fat mass, especially when coupled with hypocaloric diets containing at least 0.8 g/kg body weight protein. Correction of vitamin D deficit has a favorable effect on muscle mass. Treatment of SO already established is yet unsatisfactory, although intense and prolonged RT, diets with higher (1.2 g/kg body weight) protein content, and soy isoflavones all look promising. However, further confirmatory research and trials combining different approaches are required.
Keywords: sarcopenic obesity; aging; hormone replacement treatment; phytoestrogens; nutrition; exercise; physical therapy; body composition sarcopenic obesity; aging; hormone replacement treatment; phytoestrogens; nutrition; exercise; physical therapy; body composition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Petroni, M.L.; Caletti, M.T.; Dalle Grave, R.; Bazzocchi, A.; Aparisi Gomèz, M.P.; Marchesini, G. Prevention and Treatment of Sarcopenic Obesity in Women. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1302.

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