Shape Up America! was founded in 1994 by C. Edward Coupe, and it was founded to raise the awareness, public awareness, of obesity as a health issue, and to provide evidence based information on healthy weight management. And basically what people fail to understand is that there’s this viscous cycle between osteoarthritis and obesity, where the additional pounds puts pressure on joints, which may or may not, depending on your genetic background, be vulnerable to osteoarthritis. And so, as weight comes on, it increases your vulnerability to this problem. Conversely, if you can take the weight off, the pounds off, and the pressure off of these joints, the condition improves. So the crucial thing for weight management for many people is mobility, the ability to be active, physically active. Healthy joints are crucial to the ability of many people to manage their weight, myself included. So I think that the connection, the intimate connection between obesity and weight management and osteoarthritis needs to be better appreciated on the part of the public.
This is an initiative I’m very interested in because it’s going to help get the word out about this connection between osteoarthritis and obesity and weight management. I am thrilled to be a part of this effort, and I am hopeful that the findings of this conference will be disseminated broadly.
Raising awareness of osteoarthritis and it’s connected to obesity and weight management is going to be, I hope, an outcome of this conference and this effort that will contribute to public understanding of how crucial it is to have healthy joints in order to be physically active not just when you’re young but also in your later years. So, what this is doing is that it’s building our understanding of the connection between osteoarthritis and weight management, healthy weight management, through physical activity; not just healthy eating, but physical activity. It is crucial to build that awareness through efforts such as this.