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Obesity may cause musculoskeletal problems in children

The U.S. Bone and Joint Decade reports that childhood obesity can have severely negative impacts on the musculoskeletal system. Kids who carry extra weight can put stress on growing bones, which may lead to pain and abnormal development.

Many people know that the obesity epidemic can cause serious health complications such as heart problems and diabetes. However, doctors emphasize the importance of recognizing that the joints, muscles and bones can also be affected.

"Nationally, we are seeing more muscle and joint disorders," said Paul Esposito, an orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. "Not only has the incidence doubled over the past 20 years in some parts of the U.S. and the world, but it is occurring at a much younger age than in the past."

Earlier this month, Bone and Joint National Action Week was launched to raise public awareness and education about the growing health threat.

Parents can help prevent musculoskeletal problems in their children by promoting a healthier diet. Nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can contribute to weight loss and reduce stress on growing bones.

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