Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalised skeletal muscle disorder involving the accelerated loss of muscle mass and function that is associated with increased adverse outcomes including falls, functional decline, frailty, and mortality. It occurs commonly as an age-related process in older people, influenced not only by contemporaneous risk factors, but also by genetic and lifestyle factors operating across the life course. It can also occur in mid-life in association with a range of conditions. Sarcopenia has become the focus of intense research aiming to translate current knowledge about its pathophysiology into improved diagnosis and treatment, with particular interest in the development of biomarkers, nutritional interventions, and drugs to augment the beneficial effects of resistance exercise. Designing effective preventive strategies that people can apply during their lifetime is of primary concern. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sarcopenia is likely to become part of routine clinical practice.