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To the Editor:—
Master and others in their article, "Tables of Average Weight and Height of Americans Aged 65 to 94 Years," in The Journal, Feb. 13, page 658, have drawn the following conclusions. "After 65 years of age mean weight decreases progressively with advancing age in both sexes at every inch level of height. This decrease is due to loss of body substance, i. e., protein, water, fat, and calcium, which is the physiological accompaniment of aging."In the aged there is marked reduction in physical activity which results in disuse atrophy of muscles. For comprehension of its effect on metabolism, cognizance must be taken of the following facts. Carbohydrate and protein cannot be stored dry but retain with them three or more parts of water, while fat can be stored in an almost pure state. One gram of adipose tissue gives the body 8.3 calories of reserve energy,
Wishnofsky M. AVERAGE WEIGHT IN PERSONS OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE. JAMA. 1960;173(4):443-444. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020220117022