Q: I am looking for new ways to lose weight, but I am concerned about losing bone mass. Are there any studies addressing this that I can join?
Answer: There is currently a study related to weight loss being done by Wake Forest University. We reached out to Dr. Kristen Beavers, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University. She shared the following:
One option to lose weight is by joining a supervised research study through a university or hospital. Researchers at Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention are conducting a study called “INVEST,” which is designed to find the best way for older adults to lose weight without losing bone. This is a free study for those that qualify.
Weight loss can improve many health outcomes, but weight loss can cause bone loss. This bone loss can increase risk of future fractures. Clinical trials demonstrate that diets rich in protein, calcium and vitamin D, as well as the addition of weight bearing exercise to caloric restriction can reduce the amount of bone lost during weight loss.
Another option in treating loss of bone mass associated with weight loss is use of a weighted vest. In a small pilot study conducted at Wake Forest Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention, a weighted vest was found to be effective in minimizing bone loss associated with weight loss that can happen among older adults.