How a Knee Injury Can Lead to Enduring Obesity

New study shows the effect a knee injury in adolescence can have.

New study shows the effect a knee injury in adolescence can have

It may seem obvious that an injury such as a knee injury could cause a certain amount of inactivity and lead to some unwanted weight gain.

However new research considering knee injuries in a youth population reveals the weight gain may be more enduring than first thought. (Myer et al., 2013)

The study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined 862 young females who were active in soccer of basketball. The study raised the fundamental question:

Are young athletes who suffer a physical activity-related injury early in life at increased risk for long-term reductions in physical activity and consequent unhealthy weight gain?

The study assessed the participants over a period of 1 year in order to establish if any injuries sustained had a lasting effect such as weight gain.

The studies main finding agreed with their hypothesis in that those participants who reported a knee injury demonstrated an increase in weight.

The salient finding from the current dataset of healthy young female participants is that those who reported a knee injury demonstrated significantly greater increases in BMIZ (increased BMI percentile by up to five units more) and an increase in body fat percentage (by up to 1.5%) relative to their uninjured peers within 1 year of the reported injury

The study goes on to highlight how their findings could reveal how a knee injury during adolescence may be a concern for ongoing health problems:

Knee injury and overweight/obesity in isolation are two of the primary contributors to long-term osteoarthritis, and the detrimental effects of increased BMI and knee injury during the growing years very likely compound the risk for osteoarthritis during adulthood.

The researchers go on to conclude and highlight that while regular sports participation are an important component of maturation and enhance health, well-being and fitness it is important that programmes are well designed, consider the importance of prevention of physical activity related injuries and that in the future strategies are developed to influence safe sport.