Want to Save Your Knees? Try Losing Weight

by bluevase

There are many reasons to lose extra weight, as doing so could reduce your risks of heart attack and stroke. A new study suggests that your knees might also thank you for shedding excess pounds.

Three Groups, Three Results

This report, which appeared in May 2017 in the online journal Radiology, involved 640 obese and overweight participants. In terms of demographics, these individuals skewed older, with an average age of 69. At the conclusion of the four-year study, the subjects were assigned to one of three groups:

  • Adults whose weight did not change during the study
  • Participants who weighed 5 to 10 percent less at the end of the study
  • Participants who shed more than a tenth of their starting weight

Another Reason to Cut Out Junk Food

When reviewing their data, the study authors came to a clear conclusion – those who shed weight enjoyed better knee health than subjects who failed to do so. Specifically, it was determined that a 5 to 10 percent weight decrease was correlated with slower rates of cartilage erosion. Furthermore, cartilage degeneration was even less pronounced among those who lost over 10+ percent of their bodyweight.

In summarizing her team’s findings, senior author Dr. Alexandra Gersing noted that “shows that a lifestyle intervention such as weight loss can slow the process of knee joint degeneration in patients at risk for and with osteoarthritis. Therefore, it may slow the worsening of symptoms, such as pain and disability.”

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