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Why muscle mass matters by Ashley Bronston, MS, RDN, and Menghua Luo, MD, PhD

We know that aging causes changes in body composition; a decrease in muscle and an increase in fat tissue. This loss of muscle mass and strength is referred to as sarcopenia, the Greek term meaning “poverty of the flesh.” This article offers a review (or refresher) on muscle, body composition and the older adult for active-aging professionals. The older adults with whom these professionals work cover the functional spectrum--from frail individuals who need ongoing assistance, to athletes who challenge themselves to improve their performance. While their fitness levels and functional abilities will differ, clients or residents can all take steps to enhance muscle health. The question is: Why does muscle matter?

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