According to study results presented at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis, overweight women who followed a 2.5 year diet and exercise program had a significant reduction in the incidence of knee osteoarthritis. The PROOF (Prevention of Knee Osteoarthritis in Overweight Females) study, which was conducted in the Netherlands, set out to assess whether a weight loss program plus oral glucosamine sulfate could prevent knee osteoarthritis. The trial involved 200 women who participated in the weight loss program and 200 women who served as controls and did not participate in the weight loss program. In both groups, half received glucosamine (1,500 mg/day) as well. The women who were selected for the study were 50 to 60 years old, had a body mass index of at least 27, but had no x-ray evidence or clinical signs of osteoarthritis at the study onset.
According to MD Consult, the weight loss program included a weekly group session involving various low-impact sports. The women also had sessions with a dietician. The program was designed to be a regimen that women would stick with. After 2.5 years, researchers determined that among those who complied with the program, there was 25% incidence of knee osteoarthritis among the control group and 10% in the weight loss program group. Researchers did admit that compliance was an issue. Only 25% of women remained compliant with the program. Diet and exercise are lifestyle modifications that require strict commitment. Difficult to do, even with the goal of osteoarthritis prevention.
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