Weight Cycling may lead to knee joint degeneration in obese individuals, Study says
According to recent research, it has been observed that weight cyclers had significantly greater increase in cartilage and bone‐marrow abnormalities over 4years than noncyclers, as published in the Obesity Journal.
Previous literature states that low-impact exercise is an ideal activity for people with joint degenerations. Low-impact activities include swimming, walking, and bicycling and all of these are considered less stressful for weight-bearing joints, especially the spine, hips, feet, knees, and ankles. However, there is seldom reports documented on the association of weight cycling with joint degeneration in obese individuals.
Hence, Gabby B. Joseph and associates from the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA conducted the present study with the aim to investigate the associations between weight cycling and knee joint degeneration in individuals with overweight or obesity with different patterns of weight change over 4 years.
The authors carried out a case-control study where they assessed a total of 2,271 individuals from the Osteoarthritis Initiative database. Linear regression models using annual BMI measurements over 4years were used to classify participants as weight cyclers or noncyclers.
3‐T magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify knee cartilage transverse relaxation time (T2) and cartilage thickness annually over 4years in all subjects. Whole‐Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scores (WORMS) were obtained for cartilage, meniscus, and bone‐marrow abnormalities in 958 subjects at baseline and at the 4‐year follow‐up.
The longitudinal differences in cartilage T2 and thickness between weight cyclers and noncyclers were assessed using general estimating equations, whereas the differences in WORMS outcomes were compared using general linear models.
The findings revealed that-
a. No significant differences in the rate of change of cartilage thickness or T2 were found between weight cyclers and noncyclers.
b. However, increases in maximum cartilage WORMS (P = 0.0025) and bone‐marrow abnormalities (P = 0.04) were significantly greater in weight cyclers than in noncyclers.
Therefore, the authors concluded that "although participants' intent for weight cycling in this study was unknown, weight cyclers had significantly greater increases in cartilage and bone‐marrow abnormalities over 4years than noncyclers, independent of weight gain and loss."