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Exercise is Key to Strength and Function in Older Women

Seniors exercising, photo courtesy of Getty Images.

In the U.S., 70 percent of women over 65 years old are considered overweight or obese. Exercise and eating higher protein diets are known to help people lose weight and increase strength. But combining both strategies doesn’t necessarily magnify their effects. That’s according to a new University of Georgia (UGA) study that examined the impact of a high-protein weight loss diet and exercise on women between the ages of 65 and 80.

The study revealed that while exercise during weight loss is critical to preserving muscle strength and function, a higher protein diet when combined with exercise does not appear to result in any added benefits to body composition and muscle strength in overweight older women.

“What’s reinforced by this study is if older women are trying to lose weight, they really need to incorporate exercise into their weight loss program, especially strength training, to preserve muscle mass and strength,” said UGA Professor Ellen Evans, associate dean for research and graduate education. This study was funded in part by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, read the UGA Newswise article.


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