Health problems related to childhood obesity are not limited to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Childhood obesity can also affect your child’s bone health, making them more susceptible to injuries and weakened bones. The more obese your child is, the higher their risk of developing health problems related to their bones.
4 Ways In Which Childhood Obesity Can Affect Bone Health
1. Loss of Muscle Mass
Children who are obese tend to have low muscle mass, which affects how they move. When children are overweight , their bones bear more weight than usual, which can weaken the bones and make them more likely to break . A child’s bone structure is still developing at this stage of life, making them more susceptible to fractures . This turns the muscle attachment to the bones weak as well, which can cause children to undergo sprain and strain conditions on minor traumas.
2. Decreased Bone Density
Decreased bone density is also called increased porosity. This condition is characterized by an increased amount of pores in the bones. This can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a thinning of bones that makes them less dense and unable to bear as much pressure from the body’s own weight. Once this thinning of the bones happens, they become more susceptible to fractures and breaks.
As your child reaches adulthood, their bone density tends to increase. But if your child was obese during his/her early years it will cause the bone growth to emerge incomplete and slow as compared to other individuals of same age.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the bones and joints, which can cause chronic pain . Researchers have found that children with osteoarthritis are more likely to be obese or overweight than those without the condition. Obese children tend to have higher BMI scores because their weight is concentrated in their midsection rather than their legs and arms . This is the part of the body that takes up more room in relation to their height, giving obese children a larger BMI than what is considered normal for their age group.
4. Postural issues
Poor posture can be another complication of childhood obesity. Poor posture doesn’t only cause back and neck pain, it makes it harder for bones and joints to support the weight of a body. When children are obese , they tend to lean forward more than their peers, which puts pressure on their bones and joints. This leads to short stature and health issues that range from minor aches and pains to larger issues like pain in their joints.
This can lead to short stature and may become the cause of having major spinal problems such as kyphosis or scoliosis. the onset of such diseases is during growing ages. Therefore, obesity can lead to these disorders through postural problems.
Consult a Doctor
Parents and children should not be afraid to speak with their doctor about any concerns they have regarding childhood obesity and bone health. Your doctor can provide you with information on nutrition and weight-loss programs for children, as well as guidance on the proper way to exercise. Working with your doctor can help you and your child overcome childhood obesity, which will improve their bone density, lower their risk of injuries , and decrease the chances of developing osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
When it comes to obesity, prevention is key. Once obesity has led to a health complication, it can become even harder to treat. The earlier parents and children take action to prevent childhood obesity from becoming a problem, the healthier their bones will be as they age.