Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Obesity and Weight Gain in Older People

  • Willy Marcos ValenciaEmail author
  • Rachita Sood
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_350-1


Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight as a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 25 kg/m2 and less than 30 kg/m2 and obesity as a BMI equal to or greater than 30 kg/m2 (WHO 2013).


There may not be a proper synonym for obesity. Albeit commonly done in conversations, obesity and overweight are not truly interchangeable terms. The definitions for obesity and overweight (based on BMI) are standard. However, when discussing with patients, special care must be taken to address the problem and convey the message appropriately. Introducing the issue as weight gain can facilitate engagement in the discussion, but proper definition of terms would need to include the description of obesity as a disease and incorporate concepts covering obesity-related conditions, complications, and comorbidities.


Obesity has been linked to...


Bariatric Surgery Cardiorespiratory Fitness Diabetes Prevention Program National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Sarcopenic Obesity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Miami VA Medical CenterMiamiUnited States
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUnited States
  3. 3.University of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA