Saturday, May 1, 2010

Young Adult Obesity and the Effects on Joints (and Health)

Over the past 10 years the obesity rate among 17 to 24 year old has increased from 14 percent to 24 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The rise was steady through these years, not once abating.

The CDC defines an overweight person as having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9; 30 or higher is considered obese. Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.

Twenty-seven (27) percent of the 17 to 24 year old Americans are too fat to serve in the military.

This is incredibly bad news for the future. Many more Americans will contract degenerative diseases, not from being over weight or obese but from the poor nutrition that to a large extent creates being overweight.

Combine ill health and overweight with being sedentary, the effects on the joints of the next generation will create a lot of chronic joint pain prescription pain medicine users, and in turn also create health problems as these young Americans will start on these pain meds much, much earlier.

To a large extent, the answer is nutrition, both in consumption and in education of these young Americans. The education process should begin in early childhood with good examples being set by the parent and continued through school with mandatory nutritional education.

When I used to take my children to school, I would be disappointed to see fairly young but obese parents, in their 20’s, walking their five or six years old who were also overweight or even obese. This is a form of child abuse and creates a medical services burden for the future.

Please teach your children good nutritional habits. Please teach them that before they reach for the pain meds bottle, that there are other things to consider first, such as rest, therapy, alternative medical treatments and specific supplements for joint health before the need to use prescription pain medications.

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