A study of how the body ages reveals a new danger to your bones and muscles. This weakening condition threatens more than 119 million Americans.
Florida State University researchers have found that if you weigh enough to be obese (a category that now includes 35 percent of Americans), your bones and muscles are at serious risk of deteriorating and losing their strength. The only solution: exercise and lose weight.
“It used to be the thinking that the heavier you were the better your bones would be because the bones were supporting more weight,” says researcher Jasminka Ilich-Ernst, a Florida State nutrition professor. “But, that’s only true to a certain extent.”
Instead, this study shows, as you gain weight, you may increase your chances of having weak bones that make you more liable to fall and suffer bone fractures. The researchers call this problem “osteosarcopenic obesity.”
“This would be a triad problem for older women,” Ilich-Ernst says. “They cannot perform as well. They cannot walk as fast. They cannot walk the stairs well or stand up and sit down multiple times without being winded or in pain. They have a higher risk of falling and breaking a bone or encountering other disabilities.”