Now, obesity could also be bad for bone health.
Researchers conducted advanced three-dimensional bone scans on 115 women ages 18 and 19 with normal (less than 32 percent) and high (greater than 32 percent) body fat.
After adjusting for differences in muscle mass surrounding the bone, the researchers found that the bones of participants with high body fat were 8 to 9 percent weaker than those of normal body fat participants.
According to study co-author Richard D. Lewis, professor of foods and nutrition at the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences:
“Obesity is an epidemic in this country, and I think this study is critical because it highlights another potential negative health effect that people haven’t considered.
The fact that the two groups had similar bone strength measures is remarkable in itself, because you would expect it to be higher in the heavier person.
When you’re young you have the capacity to change the shape of your bones, but when you get older you don’t have that capacity.
And because of that, childhood obesity could have a significant, long lasting negative impact on the skeleton.”
As explained Doctoral Candidate Norman Pollock, lead author of the study:
“Muscle exerts force on bones, which stimulates bone growth. Overweight people tend to have more muscle surrounding their bones than their leaner counterparts, leading most researchers to assume that being overweight is good for bone health.
When we corrected for the amount of muscle, we found that the obese person is not making as much bone as they should be for the amount of muscle that they have. People haven’t observed that in the past because they weren’t using the three-dimensional scan.”
Dr. Lewis further explained:
The exact mechanisms by which excess fat hinders bone strength are unclear, but studies of obese rats show that they produce more fat cells in the bone marrow and fewer bone cells.
Since fat and bone cells originate from the same precursor, it may be that fat cell production is favored over bone cell production in obese people.
Well I think it’s just goes that obesity is bad for bone health because as you gain more and more weight in adulthood, your bones in place will not change anymore. Your bones will definitely take the toll of heavy weight because bones do not expand even if your physical body expands with more weight.
Imagine if your knees are buckling (due to arthritis) and you are obese?
Source: University of Georgia