Childhood obesity has emerged as one of key global health challenges in the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of this condition has been increasing at a significant rate, as almost 41 million children (under the age of 5) were diagnosed as overweight in the year 2016.
Medical experts claim that overweight and obese children are likely to remain obese in their adulthood as well. Furthermore, the condition not only puts children at a higher risk of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular problems, but also affects their musculoskeletal health.
Here is how obesity can affect the musculoskeletal health of children:
- Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Childhood obesity can expose children to an orthopedic hip disorder known as Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) during their adolescence. The condition is known to cause chronic knee or hip pain that can last for weeks or even months. According to the best weight loss surgeons in India, hormonal dysfunction related with obesity tends to alter the growth plate function that can potentially predispose a child’s hip to slip. The extra weight can also increase the sheer forces across the proximal femoral growth plate that can contribute to the slip.
- Blount Disease
Blount disease is referred to as the severe bowing of legs which occurs as a result of hormonal changes and increased stress on the growth plate. According to the best bariatric surgeons in Delhi, excess weight due to obesity can lead to irregular growth and deformity of bones. Although these can be corrected with a leg brace, orthotics, or surgery in severe cases, obese children always remain at a high risk of complications like infections, delayed bone healing, failure of fixation, and reoccurrence of Blount disease.
- Flat Feet
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a common orthopedic condition in which the entire sole of the foot touches the floor while the person is standing. Overweight and obese children often have painful flat feet that tires them easily and prevents them from walking long distances.
Obesity and overweight condition in children tends to increase the stress on their bones, eventually putting them at an increased risk of fractures. Furthermore, it may increase the risk of complications that delays recovery and potentially alters the treatment outcomes.
According to the top obesity surgeons in India, childhood obesity also surges the rate of anesthetic complications. Children diagnosed with overweight or obese conditions are prone to many troublesome medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and impaired bone health.
However, childhood obesity is curable with healthy lifestyle and dietary changes. In severe cases, one can also opt for a weight loss surgery at a top bariatric surgery hospital for best results.