Obesity Network Joins the Arthritis Alliance of Canada

Regular readers may recall a previous post outlining the importance of obesity as a key driver of osteoarthritis and perhaps even of other inflammatory forms of joint disease.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a membership meeting of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada on behalf of the Canadian Obesity Network – a new member of this alliance.

With now more than 35 member organizations, the Alliance brings together arthritis health care professionals, researchers, funding agencies, governments, voluntary sector agencies, industry and, most importantly, representatives from arthritis consumer organizations from across Canada to provide a central focus for national arthritis-related initiatives.

The Alliance focuses on three distinct strategies:

  • Advance knowledge and awareness of arthritis
  • Identify opportunities and prescribe plans to improve prevention and care
  • Support ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, government, other chronic disease groups

Obviously, all of this is of great interest to many overweight and obese individuals living with arthritis – irrespective of whether or not their weight is the root cause or simply a contributor to their joint pain.

For clinicians, as was pointed out in yesterday’s meeting, at least a cursory knowledge of assessing clients for joint problems should be part of a standard assessment – certainly a must for all patients presenting with excess weight. (Assessment for Osteoarthritis and joint pain are part of the 5As of Obesity Management ‘Assess’).

Reason enough for the Canadian Obesity Network to partner with and strongly support the goals of the Alliance.

Toronto, ON