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Study: Maintaining Weight Loss Key to Keeping Osteoarthritis Symptoms at Bay

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A reader of Scientific American Consumer Health's Arthritis White Paper asks: I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, and my knee osteoarthritis symptoms have improved. How can I keep the symptoms at bay? Here's what the research says.

Findings from a study in the May 2015 issue of Arthritis Care & Research are enlightening.

Researchers recruited 192 obese men and women with knee osteoarthritis (OA) to participate in the study. For the first four months, all participants followed a low-calorie diet designed to produce significant weight loss. Next the participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups for a year-long weight loss maintenance program. Group 1 met weekly and focused on long-term lifestyle modifications designed to help them reach and maintain their weight loss goals. Group 2 performed exercises designed to target knee OA pain and disability three times a week. Group 3, the control group, received neither diet support nor exercise training.

After one year, the diet-support and exercise groups had lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off—on average, 25 pounds and 13 pounds, respectively. Interestingly, the control group maintained an average 18-pound weight loss. And participants in all three groups reported a modest, but similarly significant, decrease in knee pain and improved quality of life.

The common denominatorfor all three groups is that they kept off the weight they lost. This finding suggests that you should focus your efforts on maintaining your weight loss. Doing so might help reduce the chances your OA symptoms will return. 


Posted in Arthritis on December 29, 2015

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Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

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Great article!

Posted by: PattiG | January 6, 2016 8:39 AM

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Scientific American White Paper: Arthritis Cover

2016 Arthritis White Paper

Arthritis now affects millions of Americans. The Scientific American Consumer Health Arthritis White Paper provides in-depth knowledge on the most recent breakthroughs concerning the most common forms of arthritis-osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it includes two other rheumatic diseases: fibromyalgia syndrome and bursitis, and also ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and lyme disease.

Click here to read more or order

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