Sarcopenic Obesity: Definition, Health Consequences and Clinical Management

Marwan El Ghoch1, 2, *, Simona Calugi2, Riccardo Dalle Grave2
1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beirut Arab University, P.O. Box 11-5020 Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon
2 Department of Eating and Weight Disorders, Villa Garda Hospital, Via Montebaldo, 89, 37016 Garda, Verona, Italy

© 2018 El Ghoch et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the Department of Eating and Weight Disorders, Villa Garda Hospital Montebaldo, 89I-37016 Garda (VR), Italy, Tel: +39-045-8103915, Fax: +39-045-8102884; E-mail: marwan1979@hotmail.com


Over the last decade, a new condition, which occurs in the presence of both sarcopenia and obesity, has been termed “sarcopenic obesity”. The term describes the coexistence of obesity, defined as the increase in body fat mass deposition, and sarcopenia, defined as the reduction in lean mass and muscle strength. However, many uncertainties still surround the condition of sarcopenic obesity in terms of its definition, the adverse short- and long-term health effects (i.e., medical disease, psychosocial functioning, quality of life and mortality) and its clinical management. The aim of this short communication is to emphasize some crucial aspects that future research should take into account in order to avoid bias and misinterpretations and to underline that the study of sarcopenic obesity should be considered a scientific and clinical priority, as reported by the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO).

Keywords: Obesity, Sarcopenic obesity, Body lean mass, Muscle strength, Morbidity, Medical disease.