Our Number One Villain
When it comes to medicine, nothing beats preventive medicine; however, for orthopedic doctors works a little bit different since they handle, among other things, trauma caused by accidents or similar cases. But lets go back to preventive medicine. At our practice, we always have advocated good nutrition and proper exercise programs.
According to the Center for Desease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight and it is projected that the statistic will increase by 2030 to more than half of the country’s population suffering from clinical obesity. Over the last three decades, childhood obesity has tripled and most overweight kids will continue to be overweight into adulthood. If we don’t take any actions, we might be facing the first generation of young adults living less years than their parents. Not something we should take for granted.
Many actors in the game like the food industry, like to blame inactivity as the prime cause of obesity. The reality is the sum of several factors, but calorie-rich foods are among the principals. A fact ignored and overlooked by a lot of people. One curious thing is that the level of physical activity may have actually increased in the United States over the past few decades; however, people seems to be getting fatter and fatter. If math can do us right, even though physical activity is on the rise, calorie consumption is as well and actually surpasses the aforementioned.
Lets go back in time a little bit. If we compare our current eating habits to the one we had in the 1970’s, we will find children consuming the caloric equivalent of an extra can of soda and small fires, and adults eating an extra Big Mac’s worth of calories more per day. Just to make up for the extra calories we are consuming as a nation compared to only 40 years ago, we would have to walk an extra two hours a day every day of the week. Clearly there is something off and research suggests that most people believe that controlling diet and getting enough exercise are equally important for weight control. The truth is you need to measure both, but when you don’t know exactly what you are eating and you think you are consuming healthy-low calorie foods and you are not, then you can experience steady weight gains.
One alarming factor is that researchers who accept grants from sugar drinks’ companies call physical inactivity as the biggest public health problem of the 21st century. However, a Global Burden of Disease Study research performed in 2010 demonstrated that physical inactivity ranks down at number five in terms of risk factors for death in the United States and number six in terms of risk factors for disability. And it barely makes the top ten globally. So, who do you think is our biggest villain? Diet.
This doesn’t mean you need to go sit down and watch television all day. Exercise, beyond helping you lose weight and make you look great, can also ward off and possibly reverse mild cognitive decline, boost your immune system, prevent and treat high blood pressure, and improve your mood and quality of sleep, among many other benefits. If the United States population collectively exercised enough to shave just 1 percent off the national body mass index, 2 million cases of diabetes, 1.5 million cases of heart disease and up to 127,000 cases of cancer might be prevented.
Orthopedic Corner | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | Adapted from How not to Die by Michael Greger | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119