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A new study highlights an increasing challenge for assisted living
providers—caring for overweight and obese seniors. Researchers used to
think that obesity increased the risk of death in all age groups, but a
new study by The Peninsula Medical School in England found that was
true only for severely obese elderly men. In general, seniors carrying
extra pounds merely were less mobile and had trouble performing some
daily activities.

The data came from an analysis of nearly 4,000 seniors in the
English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, published by the American
Geriatrics Society. Obesity rates have increased in 37 states since
last year, and in every state except Colorado, at least one in five
adults is obese, according to “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are
Failing in America, 2008,” a joint report between the Trust for
America’s Health (TFAH) and The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently
released its own obesity study which determined that an average of 25
percent of Americans are obese, compared with only 19.4 percent of
seniors over 70. Obesity can lead to a range of health problems,
including diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.

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