After a number of conflicting studies on whether extra weight is harmful to bone health, the latest research appears to weigh in on the affirmative. A University of Georgia study in the Journal of Clinical nutrition indicates that the bones of women with high body fat were weaker than those with normal body fat.
This appears to contradict earlier studies that considered a bit of excess weight, despite being linked to other severe health problems, as actually a mild protective factor for osteoporosis. The explanation is that since heavier people tend to have more muscle surrounding the bone, previous studies had assumed their bones to be stronger.
However, the latest study suggests that despite the extra muscle, the bone shape and geometry observed in the latest study indicates bones are no stronger in the overweight group than in their counterparts.
You can check out more details at http://www.uga.edu/news/artman/publish/071126_Study.shtml.
And remember, despite these new findings, the opposite extreme -- anorexia and malnutrition -- have long been established as definitively harmful to bone health (not to mention overall well being), so do proceed with moderation if this research causes concern about a few extra pounds.
Published On: November 27, 2007