5. Being overweight increases your risk
Piling on extra pounds is now recognized as a major cause of osteoarthritis. And judging by recent surveys showing that more than half of all North Americans are overweight, it may be the most important cause of all. In particular, obesity can cause OA of the weight-bearing joints—the knees, and to a lesser extent, the hips. But it is also associated with a greater risk of OA in other joints as well, including the back, ankles, big toes and hands.