Childhood obesity 'could cause increased levels of joint disease'

5 September 2011

Obesity is increasing the likelihood of a rise in joint disease in young people, an expert has claimed.

Neil Betteridge, chief executive of Arthritis Care, suggested that without the use of weight loss surgery and other obesity-reducing procedures or health programmes, osteoarthritis is set to become a major factor among young people, "unless something radical happens".

"With the obesity epidemic, carrying all that weight projects the pressure onto joints, so therefore we are likely to see an epidemic," Mr Betteridge explained.

While knee replacement surgery remains a possibility for some, relatively simple pre-emptive measures such as regulating the size of lunch portions could also have a beneficial effect on people's weight.

Scientists at Cornell, in their study published in the Appetite journal, found that people did not compensate for decreased energy intake after a smaller lunch by eating more throughout the day, suggesting the body has no way of measuring whether a small drop in energy intake has taken place.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 Levitsky, David A., and Carly Pacanowskia, " Losing weight without dieting. Use of commercial foods as meal replacements for lunch produces an extended energy deficit". Appetite. October 2011.

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