Inconsistent findings of weight change following total knee (TKA) and hip (THA) arthroplasty may largely be attributable to heterogeneous cohorts and varied definitions of weight loss. This study examined weight change following TKA and THA for osteoarthritis (OA).64 participants with hip or knee OA were recruited from orthopaedic joint arthroplasty waiting lists at a single major Australian public hospital between March and October 2011. The Short Form (SF) 12 survey was used to assess baseline physical and mental functioning. 49 participants completed 6 month follow-up (20 from the THA group and 29 from the TKA group).The majority of subjects lost weight (>0 kg) 6 months following THA (70 %) and TKA (58.6 %). When at least a 5 % reduction in total body weight was used to define clinically significant weight loss, the proportion of people with weight loss was 37.9 % for TKA and 25 % for THA. Greater weight loss occurred 6 months following TKA compared with THA (7.2 % versus 3.7 % of body weight; p = 0.04). Worse pre-operative physical functioning (SF-12) was associated with greater weight loss following TKA (β = 0.22 kg, 95 % CI 0.02-0.42 kg; p = 0.04).Most people lost weight (>0 kg) 6 months following TKA and THA and a considerable proportion of people achieved ≥5 % loss of body weight. The magnitude of weight loss was greater following TKA than THA, with worse pre-operative function being a predictor of more weight loss. Further attention to weight management is required to assist a greater number of people to achieve a larger magnitude of weight loss following knee and hip joint arthroplasty.