The obesity epidemic, along with resultant knee osteoarthritis, shortens the healthy years of life, one study has shown.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that in the US alone, Americans over the age of 50 will lose 86 million healthy years of their lives.
Elena Losina, lead researcher, said: "Reducing obesity to levels observed in 2000 would prevent 172,792 cases of coronary heart disease, 710,942 cases of diabetes, and 269,934 total knee replacements."
Osteoarthritis is reportedly one of the most common chronic conditions among older Americans, possibly leaving them in need of home care, and is thought to be a consequence of the nation's obesity epidemic.
This comes after researchers from Henry Ford Hospital said that thinking of the knee as an organ in the same way doctors think of a heart could result in improved therapies for osteoarthritis of the knee.