Grandma shouldn't get a free ride on weight loss if she's overweight
I just about fell about of my chair when I read this Jamestown, NY-based Post-Journal story about how weight loss for senior citizens is NOT a good idea.
The first thing I thought was, "You've got to be kidding me."
But no, the argument is being made that senior citizens should not try to lose weight by eating healthier or else they are putting their life in danger.
So, senior citizens are encouraged to eat up on al the cookies, juice, sweets and desserts that they want without any regard for what THAT is doing to their bodies.
The story notes that older people who experience weight loss generally see that as the beginning of "a precipitous decline in health." Oh really! Try telling that to this woman who lost an incredible 185 pounds at the ripe old age of 66 years old! This whole idea of just throwing in the towel on weight loss is a dangerous message we are sending people as they get older.
Who says the age you stop worrying about your weight problem stops at 65 or 70? Will we keep moving it back to 60, 50, or even 40 because we all know people who are at least that age are really OLD! Hee hee, just kidding. I'll be there in a few more years.
It's utterly ridiculous to think we've come up with the excuse that some people are simply too old for weight loss. Baloney! If you are obese, I don't care how old you are, YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT! Period! Eventually that gut hanging out of the front of your body and those thunder thighs will weigh you down so much that your health will be in jeopardy.
I can't tell you how sad it makes me feel to see an overweight or obese elderly person. They have just as much right to enjoy the exhuberant feeling of weight loss as I have, even if the road to weight loss is more difficult on them because of a slower metabolism and less ability to exercise. But throwing your hands up in the air and not even trying at all is not the answer.
It is insulting to have an article like this one featuring senior citizens who pretty much say WHO CARES about their health and weight because they're gonna die pretty soon anyway. What a terrible example these senior citizens are setting for the generation coming up today thinking they can eat and eat without worrying about their health. WE CAN'T EXPECT OUR CHILDREN TO EAT RIGHT IF WE AREN'T SHOWING THEM HOW TO DO IT! That goes for grandmas and grandpas, too!
Most appalling to me about the reasons given for senior citizens to NOT lose weight is the excuse that not eating enough food and calories will result in depression, weakened immune systems, anemia, reduced cognitive abilities and even death.
That's all the more reason for the elderly to start livin' la vida low-carb. They can eat lots of great-tasting and satisfying foods and improve every single one of those conditions listed above.
However, be careful that food does not become a means for making senior citizens feel better unless it is good for them. The temptation is to take Aunt Betty out to Shoney's for a Hot Fudge Cake to make her happy when the same feeling of joy could be experienced without the consumption of so much sugar and carbs that she doesn't need.
Interestingly, the story notes that seniors should try to eat more protein, which goes hand-in-hand with low-carb living. The protein offers the satiety they need to stay full for longer periods of time, too.
Now don't get me wrong. I do realize some senior citizens get very lonely and stop eating altogether which causes them to lose weight. THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT! That's why the loving support of friends and family members of overweight or obese senior citizens is so essential to helping them get their weight under control. Abandoning these wise senior saints during their twilight years is not very smart. Embrace them and show them that healthy living can be done at ANY age.
Whether you are 8, 28, 48, 68 or 88, TODAY is the day you need to start livin' la vida low-carb. For your health and for the health of those you leave behind long after you are gone, it's the smart choice for lasting weight loss.
4-25-06 UPDATE: Well, well, well...look at this Reuters story which reports a new study out today showing weight loss in senior citizens is actually a GOOD thing! This is even MORE evidence that my conclusions are correct on this. :)