This week is National Healthy Weight Week! It should come as no surprise that a healthy weight can help support healthy joints. In this blog, we will get into some of the benefits of a healthy weight when it comes to joints, especially arthritic joints.

Obesity is a Common Disease

According to the CDC, obesity is a common and serious disease. In the United States, between 2017-2018, over 42% of the adult population was considered obese. That number is nearly 12% higher than the statistics from approximately 20 years ago. At this time, men and women appear to be equally affected by the disease.

The Link Between Obesity and Osteoarthritis

As you probably know, obesity is associated with a number of serious health risks. These include, but are not limited to, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Another obesity related health risk is arthritis. Unfortunately, the rate of people affected with osteoarthritis (OA) has risen right along with obesity rates.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Being just 10 pounds overweight puts an extra 15 to 50 pounds of pressure on your knees.” Because of this, you are more likely to develop or exacerbate OA. Beyond putting extra stress on your joints, excess fat in your body actually speeds the destruction of cartilage.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight can Reduce Symptoms of OA

Fortunately, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight may help to reduce symptoms of OA. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Losing just 10% of your body weight can cut arthritis pain in half. Losing 20% can cut arthritis pain by another 25% or more.” Weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight can also help to slow the progression of OA and reduce the risk of other serious health complications.