Weight loss plus exercise best for knee arthritis

May 11, 2004 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News, Sports Nutrition and Exercise

Weight loss plus exercise best for knee arthritis

A combination of diet and exercise is better than either alone at achieving functional improvements in overweight patients with osteoarthritis, new research from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina indicates.

The Arthritis, Diet, and Activity Promotion Trial (ADAPT) involved 316 overweight adults with knee arthritis who were randomly selected to receive a dietary intervention, an exercise intervention, both, or usual care. Of these subjects, 252 completed the study.

The exercise program involved thrice-weekly hour-long sessions that focused on aerobics and resistance training. The dietary intervention incorporated group dynamics theory and social cognitive theory into a staged program with a goal of maintaining an average weight loss of 5 percent during the 18-month period.

The greatest benefits were seen in the diet-plus-exercise group. Compared with usual care patients, subjects in the diet-plus-exercise group experienced an improvement in self-reported physical function, the distance they could walk in 6 minutes, stair-climb time, and knee pain.

By contrast, improvements in the exercise-only group were limited to the 6-minute walk distance. The diet-only intervention appeared to offer no functional benefits over usual care, the researchers report. However, patients in the dietary intervention groups lost significantly more weight than those in the usual care group.

These results provide evidence for significant, although modest, treatment effects of a dietary weight loss program combined with regular exercise classes for sedentary, overweight and obese individuals with knee arthritis.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.