Flavio Teixeira Vieira, Postdoctoral Fellow, PhD, MSc

Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences
University of Alberta

Sarcopenic obesity in clinical conditions: osteoarthritis and post-metabolic and bariatric surgery

Sarcopenic obesity (i.e., high fat mass alongside low muscle mass and strength), even though is an age-related disease, may occur at any age, especially when associated with clinical conditions, such as osteoarthritis and post-metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS). Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, the most prevalent type of arthritis, and is intimately related to obesity. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, resulting in reduced functional capacity, lower physical activity levels, and negative impacts on quality of life. This may lead to imbalances in musculoskeletal health, with an increased risk for muscle mass loss and fat mass gain. On the other hand, MBS generates rapid and substantial weight loss with consequential improvements in obesity-related health risks. However, important losses in muscle mass are also worth noticing, especially when accompanied by low protein intake. Weight regain may occur as a long-term complication and is often derived from fat mass, thus, with the potential of low muscle mass alongside high fat mass perpetuation. Individuals with osteoarthritis and post-MBS require close monitoring of their nutritional status during weight loss attempts, not only focused on weight loss but also in terms of body composition and physical function, including the risk for sarcopenic obesity. The identification of sarcopenic obesity in individuals with larger bodies is challenging since common screening and diagnostic tools like anthropometrics and some body composition techniques may not identify individuals at risk. Multimodal interventions involving nutrition, exercise, behavioral changes, and possibly pharmacology are essential for sarcopenic obesity prevention and treatment.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Flavio Vieira is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Departments of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Sciences and Pediatrics and a recipient of Postdoctoral Fellowships from Alberta Innovates and the Women and Children's Health Research Institute. Dr. Vieira completed his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. in Human Nutrition at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, his home country, with visiting periods at the University of Alberta, Canada, and the University of Porto, Portugal. Dr. Vieira holds Postgraduate diplomas in Clinical Nutrition (Residency Program) and Epidemiology; and credentials as a Registered Dietitian Specialized in Nutrition Therapy from Brazil. Dr. Vieira's main research interests are body composition abnormalities, especially obesity and obesity-related comorbidities, working both in prevention and treatment, involving nutrition, exercise, pharmacology, and behavioral changes.