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Obesity can impact bone density & muscle mass

Obesity can impact bone density & muscle mass

We know that obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes and several other harmful diseases and now a new study has found that it can also impact bone density and muscle mass.

Researchers at Florida State University said that obese people are at a greater risk of falling and breaking bones. They define this syndrome as osteosarcopenic obesity.

"It used to be the thinking that the heavier you were, the better your bones would be because the bones were supporting more weight," said Jasminka Ilich-Ernst, a nutrition professor at Florida State. "But that's only true to a certain extent."

Ilich-Ernst outlines osteosarcopenic obesity in next month's issue of Ageing Research Reviews. She started the study years ago with an aim to search for links between bone and muscle strength and fat mass. She remarked that though scientists were undertaking studies to look at bone issues they were not taking into account muscle mass and strength, as well as fat tissue.

"We still don't have the criteria to diagnose osteosarcopenic obesity," Ilich-Ernst said, noting that there are tests to gauge obesity, bone density, and muscle mass. "Anyone with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, so those above 30 might be at risk for osteosarcopenic obesity," she added.

Ilich-Ernst considered data on 200 women who had got their muscle mass, bone density, and fat composition measured and found that around 35% of the women had more than 30 percent fat tissue plus declining bone density (osteopenia) and muscle mass (sarcopenia). This probelm is very harmful for older women.

"The obese have a higher risk of falling and breaking a bone or encountering other disabilities," Ilich-Ernst said.