Modest Lifestyle Adjustments Can Boost Vascular Health in Seniors with Obesity

Small lifestyle changes that eliminate just 200 calories a day combined with 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise four days a week was associated with significant
improvement in aortic stiffness, a measure of vascular health, in older adults with obesity. Those results from a study conducted by Wake Forest School of Medicine researchers were published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“We were surprised to find that moderate caloric reduction and aerobic activity had a better effect on arteries than exercise with a more restrictive diet,” said lead study author Tina E. Brinkley, PhD, associate professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine. “These relatively small changes should be manageable for people and more sustainable over the long term.”

The randomized controlled trial included 160 sedentary adults, aged 65 to 79 years with obesity defined as a body mass index of 30 to 45 kg/m2. The average age of the participants was 69 years with 74% female and 73% white.