Quality of Life And Mental Health in Older Adults with Obesity and Frailty: Associations with a Weight Loss Intervention

M. E. Payne, K. N. Porter Starr, M. Orenduff, H. S. Mulder, S. R. McDonald, A. P. Spira, C. F. Pieper, C. W. Bales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the bi-directional associations of a weight loss intervention with quality of life and mental health in obese older adults with functional limitations. Design: Combined-group analyses of secondary variables from the MEASUR-UP randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Obese community-dwelling men and women (N = 67; age ≥60; BMI ≥30) with functional limitations (Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] score of 4–10 out of 12). Intervention: Six-month reduced calorie diet at two protein levels. Measurements: Weight, height, body composition, physical function, medical history, and mental health and quality of life assessments (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]; Profile of Mood States [POMS], Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]; Perceived Stress Scale [PSS]; Satisfaction with Life Scale [SWLS]; and Short Form Health Survey [SF-36]) were acquired at 0, 3 and 6 months. Results: Physical composite quality of life (SF-36) improved significantly at 3 months (β = 6.29, t2,48 = 2.60, p = 0.012) and 6 months (β = 10.03, t2,48 = 4.83, p < 0.001), as did several domains of physical quality of life. Baseline depression symptoms (CES-D and POMS) were found to predict lower amounts of weight loss; higher baseline sleep latency (PSQI) and anger (POMS) predicted less improvement in physical function (SPPB). Conclusion: The significant bi-directional associations found between a weight loss intervention and mental health/quality of life, including substantial improvements in physical quality of life with obesity treatment, indicate the importance of considering mental health and quality of life as part of any weight loss intervention for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
StateAccepted/In press - 2018


  • Obesity
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • quality of life
  • weight reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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