National Childhood Obesity

Orthopedic CareIn today’s world, orthopedic care is not just for athletes and the elderly. An alarming increase in childhood obesity over the past decade has made its mark on joints and bones in a dramatic way. Here’s what you should know about childhood obesity and orthopedics.

Sedentary Lifestyles and Bone Health

Bone strength is developed from early childhood. Your bones rely on physical activity and lifestyle for their strength – weight-bearing exercise helps increase bone density, and builds muscles that support the skeleton. Overweight children may avoid activity due to pain or discomfort, or may not have a family or social culture that supports exercise. This tendency toward inactivity is extremely harmful to bone health and often results in frequent fractures, joint problems, and a spiraling decline into arthritis and joint injuries as a person ages.

The Effect of Diet

A lack of nutritional education or discipline, as well as feeding children a diet full of processed foods and sugars, will cause a number of negative effects in the body. Without leafy greens and powerful anti-oxidants found in colorful vegetables, joints and bones are not as strong or able to heal from injury. Soft drinks and sugary foods create an acidic environment in the body, which softens bones and teeth. Large amounts of salt found in processed foods leaches calcium from your bones. These unhealthy food options and increasingly large portions are major contributors toward childhood obesity.

Getting Outdoors

To further amplify the orthopedic care crisis for children today, the activities kids typically engage in are often related to video games and television. These sedentary activities are less healthy than play done outside. Failing to get outside in the sunshine means a shortage of vitamin D. Poor bone health and orthopedic problems are created in this combination of vitamin deficiency, poor nutrition, and inactivity.

Childhood obesity is a multifaceted problem that can grow worse by the day. Talk to your orthopedic care provider for advice on keeping the kids in your life healthy and strong, through a quality diet and the right combination of activities.

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