Study Reviews

Osteosarcopenic obesity syndrome

  • 06/28/2017

One of the disorders associated with ageing, exacerbated by a western lifestyle and diet, is osteosarcopenic obsesity, which involves the triad of deteriorating bone health (osteopenia/osteoporosis), decreasing muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia), and increased amounts of fatty tissue on muscles and bones (obesity, even if not according to conventional criteria). Its main causes include chronic diseases, pharmacological therapy, genetic predisposition and environmental factors, but deficient diet and lack of physical activity are also important in their origin and development. One of the most common problems in people with osteosarcopenic obesity is the high risk of falls and fractures, which as well as the obvious consequences, can also lead to gradual loss of independence. Fear of repetition can cause a greater reduction in physical activity, which, in turn, increases osteosarcopenic risk, creating a vicious circle.

The elderly are always at potential nutritional risk because they often eat high-calorie, low-nutritional food and insufficient dietary fibre. They frequently have little appetite and a lower capacity to absorb essential nutrients. Improving diet and physical activity could help prevent or alleviate this syndrome. Nutritional changes include consumption of protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, as well as increasing consumption of food containing omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA have been shown to favour bone formation and reduce the negative effects of fat on bone) and fibre.