When it comes to weight, there is no doubt that there are major benefits to getting rid of excess fat in the name of good health. Your heart becomes stronger, your lungs function better and more easily, and your muscles are able to better handle whatever load you place on them.
However, researchers have just found yet another reason to entice individuals to lose any extra weight and it’s one that has never before been realized.
The Old Thought vs. The New Findings
It used to be believed that having a higher weight meant that you developed stronger bones to help carry your additional pounds around. While this thought makes sense in theory, one recent study has discovered that it isn’t so black and white. In fact, being too overweight can actually have the opposite effect.
Jasminka Z. Ilich, a researcher at FloridaStateUniversity, led a team of five other reviewers who thoroughly looked through the files of 200 women who had previously been studied for various other reasons. They noted each woman’s bone density, muscle mass, and fat tissue to see if there was a correlation amongst these three variables.
The researchers found that approximately 33% of the women studied had 30% or more fat tissue, resulting in reduced bone density and lower muscle mass. This means that too much fat makes bones and muscles weaker, opening the individual up to a higher risk of fractures and a greater inability to move around with ease.
Ilich admits that an increase in fat and decrease in bone density and muscle mass with age are common, but too much fat worsens the effect of the latter two – especially for women. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is key to strong and healthy bones and muscles now and well into the golden years.
The Chiropractic Response
For these reasons, it is important for chiropractors to work with patients to help them successfully lose any excess weight. And it is equally as imperative for individuals who are carrying a few extra pounds to shed them in order to protect their bones and muscles both short and long term. Research suggests that chiropractors can successfully support individuals in their efforts to shed weight.
This is one case where less is truly more.
Ilich, Jasminka Z. et al. Interrelationship among muscle, fat, and bone: Connecting the dots on cellular, hormonal, and whole body levels. ScienceDirect 2014. 15: 51-60.