Though talk of the "obesity epidemic" has certainly dwindled in recent years, it is still important for medical professionals of all specialties to understand the scope of this issue, and to work toward educating their patients about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Recently, the American Public Health Association shared an eye-opening infographic detailing the effects of obesity not just on individual health, but the healthcare system at large.
It's true that rates of obesity have fallen slightly in the last few years, but on the whole, this medical issue plagues the U.S. population to a much greater extent than in generations past. Rates of obesity among children and teens remain alarmingly high, and given that eating habits adopted early in life have been shown to indicate future behaviors, it's clear that more intervention is necessary at this stage. In fact, according to the APHA, a third of Americans between 2 and 19 years old are considered overweight or obese in medical terms. A more harrowing statistic is that children who are overweight are more than two times as likely than their healthier peers to pass away by the age of 55.
Yes, these figures present a rather bleak image, but the good news is that this trend is on the decline, and healthcare professionals know exactly what is necessary to encourage this momentum. Access to nutritious food, proximity to public spaces and a general commitment to a healthier lifestyle can all stem the tide of obesity and lift a substantial burden on the healthcare system as a whole.
So how does this relate to chiropractors? As medical professionals, chiropractors value the overall well-being of their patients. Individuals who struggle with their weight may also experience strain that can be eased through chiropractic adjustments. In addition, chiropractic EMR software makes it possible to identify overarching trends among individuals and populations, which could influence your treatment choices.