Sarcopenic obesity and health outcomes in patients seeking weight loss treatment

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Feb;23:79-83. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.12.004. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


Aim: To investigate the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity (SO) and its association with health outcomes in patients seeking weight loss treatment from a bariatric center.

Methods: In this retrospective study, patients [≥18 years old, body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2] from the Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center and with baseline body composition assessment by bioelectrical impedance analysis were included. Fat mass index (FMI = fat mass/height2) and fat-free mass index (FFMI = fat free mass/height2) were calculated. SO was defined by a FMI/FFMI ratio greater than the 95 percentile of sex, BMI and ethnicity specific population-representative references. Medical records were reviewed for biochemical and comorbidity measures.

Results: One hundred and forty-four patients (∼69% females, mean age 55.6 years, mean BMI 46.6 kg/m2) were included. Patients' FMI/FFMI ratios ranged from 0.35 to 1.60 kg/m2 across body weight spectrum, with 51% having SO. Blood pressure, fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL or LDL were not different between patients with and without SO. However, the prevalence of high cholesterol, asthma, alcoholism and hernia were higher in patients with SO. SO was the strongest univariate predictor of high cholesterol (OR = 2.08, 95% CI 1.07-4.04) and asthma (OR = 2.77, 95% CI = 1.12-6.83).

Conclusion: SO was prevalent and associated with adverse health outcomes, beyond that captured by anthropometric measures in the present study.

Keywords: BIA; Bariatric surgery; Body composition; Sarcopenic obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol