Coupled with the growth of the older population, an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in this age group has occurred in the last decades. The main aims of the present study were (i) to provide an updated prevalence of overweight and obesity in a representative sample of the Spanish elderly population; (ii) to calculate the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity (SO) and (iii) to analyse the relationships between adiposity measurements and lifestyle. A cross-sectional study was carried out in a sample of 3136 persons representative of the non-institutionalized population ≥65 years of age. Anthropometric measurements were obtained using standardized techniques and equipment. Overall, 84% of the population can be categorized as overweight and/or obese. The present study indicates that 67% of the Spanish elderly population has an increased percentage of fat mass and more than 56% suffer from central obesity. Moreover, SO is present in 15% of the Spanish elderly population. Finally, a strong relationship between both physically active and sedentary lifestyles and the level of adiposity was found. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among elderly people in Spain is very high and is still increasing. Lifestyle seems to be a determinant factor in the development of obesity among elderly people.
© 2011 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2011 International Association for the Study of Obesity.