If obesity wasn’t considered an epidemic before, it’s certainly reached full-blown status now. Each successive study points to obesity as the base problem of yet another condition. Just days ago a report on the CBS News website revealed that knee replacement surgeries have doubled in the past 20 years and it’s not just the elderly who account for these procedures. Obesity has taken a toll on the joints of patients of all ages, with obese older patients accounting for 12 percent of first-time joint replacement operations. And that number has tripled, up from only four percent.
In the short-term, the immediate fix has been legislated accommodation for the disabled and the handicapped. Companies that bring to market wheelchair vans and scooter accessible vehicles that allow easy access and transportation have flourished providing a vital product. When you look at the progressive rise in knee replacement surgeries and consider them in relation to projections that American adult obesity rates will exceed 44 percent by the year 2030, what does that portend for the future?
Adding to the blame, fingers are being pointed at not just soft drinks, but the can materials themselves. Soda can interiors are lined with a substance that includes Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to childhood obesity. It could simply be that overweight youngsters tend to drink more soda than their leaner counterparts and therefore have BPA in their systems. Regardless of the implications, the finger pointing needs to stop. We’re getting whiplash from rushing to adjust our lives based on one study and then falling back to our normal habits when the next study comes along and refutes the first study’s findings. Remember when coconut oil and corn syrup were blamed for all manner of health issues, only to have subsequent research reveal that maybe those things weren’t so bad after all?
With so much information, some of which is misleading and meant to scare consumers into submission, it’s easy to see how you can become preoccupied concentrating on products that cause obesity. Instead of outlawing soft drinks and declaring deep fryers to be lethal weapons, why not concentrate on educating Americans on healthy lifestyles?
Taking a proactive stance in response to the research findings that point to a fatter future for Illinois adults, an Illinois University is promoting nutrition and health as effective tools to help students get a grip on their weight issues. Steps like implementing a website that breaks down nutritional values of food available in the dining halls will allow students to make choices — healthy or not — and take responsibility for their habits.
Whether you’re a student or not, a busy lifestyle that doesn’t include physical activity can get in the way a leaner America. It’s important for people of all ages to start taking note of the choices they’re making. The foods we eat are only one aspect of the equation. Becoming more physically active is another big piece of the puzzle. If you choose to work out, you’ll burn excess calories and strengthen muscles that support joints, reducing if not eliminating the need for surgery and reversing the statistics.