Regardless of a person’s age, gender, or existing medical condition, there are two things doctors tell nearly every patient: (1) eat a balanced diet, and (2) get plenty of exercise. Doing these two things helps to ensure that a person is within their healthy weight range.
Maintaining a healthy weight benefits the body in so many ways it is difficult to list all of them. But just to start that list: It benefits the cardiovascular system, it increases energy levels, it decreases the risk of disease, and it tremendously benefits the musculoskeletal (orthopedic) system.
How a Healthy Weight Supports Bones and Muscles
When a person is overweight, the structures and systems of the body are forced to work harder – placing extra stress on the legs, hips, back, neck, and internal organs. In particular, it causes an increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
In contrast, maintaining a healthy weight puts less stress and pressure on a person’s back, knees, and everything else. Back pain is the most common health complaint Americans have, but this occurs less often – and with less intensity when it does occur – in those who are within their ideal weight range.
What Is My Healthy Weight?
Your body mass index (BMI) can help to calculate your ratio of body fat and determine whether your ratio is healthy, or whether you should lose weight in order to maintain a healthy body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, offers an online BMI calculator to estimate your own body mass.
Having a healthy weight figures into a healthy BMI. These factors help make people more productive, they feel better about themselves, and it optimizes their ability to live a healthy lifestyle – with a reduced risk of developing adverse health conditions.
Children and Obesity
The weight factor doesn’t only affect adults. Children who are overweight or obese are at risk of suffering damage to the growth plates, deformity of the legs, and broken bones – which may require surgical repair. Nearly 20 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States are clinically obese, and this affects their development.
A child’s growth plates are not strong enough to withstand the effects of obesity, which is why it can lead to conditions such as slipped femoral epiphysis. This occurs when the femoral ball (the top of the upper leg bone) slips out of the pelvic socket due to a weakness of the growth plate. It can cause pain for months in the hip and leg; in serious cases, it can make a child unable to stand or walk on that leg.
Blount’s disease is a severe condition where increased physical stress (usually due to obesity) is placed on a growth plate, and this results in the bowing of the legs. This is a permanent deformation, and it can become so bad that the legs require corrective surgery.
Orthopedic Surgeons in St. Louis
Maintaining a healthy weight from childhood through adulthood can help you avoid many weight-related health problems. If you would like to find out how to lose weight and keep it off for good, we can help you.
If you are in St. Charles County, Missouri, contact us at Advanced Bone & Joint today by calling (636) 229-4222 or schedule an appointment online. We can help you get in optimum shape for an active, healthy lifestyle.