The goal of this publication is to raise awareness of the impact of childhood obesity on the musculoskeletal health of children and its potential long-term implications.
Relevant articles dealing with musculoskeletal disorders either caused by or worsened by childhood obesity were reviewed through a Pub Med search. Efforts to recognize and combat the childhood obesity epidemic were also identified through Internet search engines. This case statement was then reviewed by the members of the pediatric specialty group of the US Bone and Joint Initiative, which represents an extensive number of organizations dealing with musculoskeletal health.
Multiple musculoskeletal disorders are clearly caused by or worsened by childhood obesity. The review of the literature clearly demonstrates the increased frequency and severity of many childhood musculoskeletal disorders. Concerns about the long-term implications of these childhood onset disorders such as pain and degenerative changes into adulthood are clearly recognized by all the member organizations of the US Bone and Joint Initiative.
It is imperative to recognize the long-term implications of musculoskeletal disorders caused by or worsened by childhood obesity. It is also important to recognize that the ability to exercise comfortably is a key factor to developing a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight. Efforts to develop reasonable and acceptable programs to increase physical activity by all facets of society should be supported. Further research into the long-term implications of childhood musculoskeletal disorders related to childhood obesity is necessary.
© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Semin Arthritis Rheum 42:539–544