The Dangers Of Sarcopenia: Low Muscle Mass & Obesity

Obesity is a major risk factor for most of the chronic diseases responsible for premature death.

But so is being 'Under Muscled'.

The combination is known as OLLMM - Obesity Low Lean Muscle Mass.

This is a major issue.

Obesity is responsible for 12% of deaths in Europe & United States1.

25 % of Europeans & 37% of US adults are obese2.

You thought it was worse, didn't you? But see the next point.

In the 1970s, the average was about 10%.

Including those who are both Overweight & Obese.

Europe - 58%
United States - 68%

In the 1970s, both were about 40%.

The combination of Obesity with Low Lean Muscle Mass (OLLMM) is not good3.

In the United States, it impacts approximately 16% of the population.

Of those with Pre Diabetes - 20%
Of those with Diabetes - 35%

These are hallmarks of poor health & are associated with significantly increased risks over time.

Appreciating that these factors are very serious markers of poor health is critical.

In the group with OLLMM:

- 71% believed their health was either ‘Good’, ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’.
- 6.8% believe that they were in the 'Excellent Category'4.

While many complex factors lead someone to be both:

Overweight &
Under Muscled

It is crucial that they are recognised as the serious health risk factors they are.

We routinely gloss over both & do not highlight their significance.

Both can be readily addressed.

We have recently made huge leaps forward in managing obesity with GLP-1 inhibitors medications.

But increasing muscle mass is unlikely to be something a medication alone can influence (Happy to be proved wrong).

Resistance Training is the solution to Low Muscle Mass.

Resistance Training is a powerful tool.

The benefits include:

⬇️ All-Cause Death up to 27%
⬇️ Cardiovascular Death by 19%
⬇️ Cancer Deaths by 14%

Lift Heavy Things!

Always think when assessing risk:

Normal weight or Over Weight?
Low Muscle or Adequate Muscle Mass?

If you have low muscle mass and are overweight, your risk of an early death is increased.

Getting both right will make a huge difference.




The prevalence of low muscle mass associated with obesity in the USA. Skeletal Muscle 12, 26 (2022).


The prevalence of low muscle mass associated with obesity in the USA. Skeletal Muscle 12, 26 (2022).

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