How does obesity affect the pain of osteoarthritis (OA)? It may sound like a simple question, but this article reports on a study that sought to determine whether patients with a higher body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, experienced greater pain than their less-obese friends and neighbors who also suffered with osteoarthritis.
Some key points:
- The heavier you are, the more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis.
- Osteoarthritis is not necessarily more prevalent today than it has been in the past.
- Patients with a higher BMI reported more pain, regardless of the severity of their joint damage.
- For each level of arthritis severity, pain scores were higher among obese patients than among non-obese patients.
- Hormones associated with obesity may affect the severity of knee arthritis and pain.
- A decrease in body weight could decrease arthritis pain.
By Judith Ohikuare, in The Atlantic:
Consider the importance of finding a supportive community: weight loss is often considered a personal journey, but the best outcomes are the result of group efforts. Does NBC’s The Biggest Loser make you feel like getting in shape is meant to be publicly announced and privately executed? Emphasizing the importance of community to lessen our society’s high rate of obesity is the goal of Drs. Walter Willett and Malissa Wood, the co-authors of Thinfluence: the powerful and surprising effect friends, family, work, and environment have on weight.
A “heat map” released by the CDC reveals the staggering rate of obesity in the United States and how obesity rates have increased dramatically over recent decades.
As seen in the video below, Americans are gaining weight at an alarming rate. Available data show that in 1985, most states had less than 14% of their population considered obese—and many, less than 10%. According to the 2008 data, most states had more than a quarter of their population considered overweight—and some more than 30%. One can only speculate how these numbers will increase if nothing is done to reverse these trends.