Background: Although weight control is important in managing knee osteoarthritis (OA), it is difficult to achieve. Understanding beliefs regarding weight management in people with knee OA may improve weight control.
Aims: To examine differences in bodyweight satisfaction, weight management strategies and weight-related health-beliefs in obese, overweight and normal weight people with knee OA.
Methods: The beliefs and attitudes to weight in 102 people with symptomatic knee OA were ascertained. Participants were classified as being obese, overweight or of normal weight.
Results: Although obese and overweight participants were less satisfied with their bodyweight, they were more likely to want to lose weight and to report dieting compared with normal weight participants(P < 0.001 for all) and also more likely to report weight gain in the past 6 months (P < 0.001). While most participants rated food intake to be a main determinant of health, this belief was more common in normal weight participants (P = 0.04). When asked about their own weight gain, obese participants more frequently believed genetic and metabolic factors to be important than normal and overweight participants (P = 0.01). While 51 (53%) believed that increasing activity was more important than dietary change to avoid weight gain, this was more commonly believed by obese and overweight participants (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Despite desiring and attempting to lose weight, obese people with symptomatic knee OA more commonly reported weight gain. Overweight and obese participants attributed weight gain to non-modifiable factors but believed physical activity is more important than dietary change in weight management. Thus, education regarding the importance of diet as compared with non-modifiable factors and physical activity may improve weight management in obese people with knee OA.
Keywords: beliefs; knee; obesity; osteoarthritis; weight loss.
© 2016 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.