A Wealth of Women’s Health – What You Need To Know About Obesity & Osteoporosis

What You Need To Know About Obesity & Osteoporosis

Obesity – The Statistics

You would think that with all the diets and exercise programs, with all the healthy foods, and with all the knowledge we have, that obesity rates in the US would be going down. Instead, they are steadily climbing.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), about 42% of Americans are obese, with the highest rates of obesity among non-Hispanic black women at 56.9%, and all women aged 40-59, at 43.3%. And while obesity rates vary from state to state, all states are showing over 20% rates of obesity, with the number of obese children steadily increasing to about 20%.

While we used to believe that heavier people had stronger bones, we now know that isn’t the case. Obesity weakens bones, especially childhood obesity. The exact reasons for this are not yet known, but the connection is clear.

And while there are many causes of obesity, including high-calorie intake and low physical activity, lack of opportunity and venues to exercise, oversized food portions, higher prices of healthy food choices, genetic factors, stress, and emotional factors, and certain diseases – the two greatest contributing factors are diet and insufficient physical activity.

In the end, it all comes down to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of weight-bearing exercises.

Body Fat & Bone Density

We develop all of our one density by age 30, accruing a solid 25% of our bone mass during childhood. In obese people, fat works its way into the actual bone marrow, increasing inflammation and taking up space that ordinarily would be taken up by bone cells.

If children don’t accrue all the bone density they need, they will have weaker bones for life. While the exact mechanisms are still unknown, it’s clear that more fat and less muscle equals weaker bones.

Bones need force applied to them to strengthen – all the running, jumping, skipping, and playing that we do as kids start that process. But most obese kids and adults don’t get that activity, and often develop secondary health issues that lead to a more sedentary life, further weakening bones.

Weaker Bodies Fall More Easily

It makes sense that the more time you spend exercising and being on your feet, the stronger you’ll be. It also makes sense that weaker bodies are inherently less stable and weaker.

Obese people tend to move less and have poorer balance when they do move. Combine weaker bones with a greater tendency to fall, and you have a perfect scenario for osteoporotic fractures.

What You Can Do

Statistically, close to half of the women reading this are obese. While this all sounds pretty bleak, do not despair! There is still plenty you can do at any age or physical condition to help strengthen your body, gain better balance to prevent falling, and live a vibrant life.

First, look at what foods you’re eating and how much. If you’re not sure how much you should be eating, an easy way to figure out daily calories is simply to add a 0 to your existing weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should be eating around 1800 calories a day. Drink plenty of water, aim for eating 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbs (remembering that fruits, vegetables, and grains all count as carbs), and exercise daily.

Can’t walk outside? Walk inside your apartment or house. Walk up and down your stairs. Sit down and stand up a few times. Carry something heavy, like a bag of pet food or a gallon of laundry soap, around the house.

And, if you’d like more help and information, I encourage you to head over to my Exercise for Bone Health, Strength, & Mobility course replays in the Wellness Universe Lounge. This donation-based course has a home workout in the very first lesson, so you’ll have an idea of how online exercise instruction works.

If you’d like to start exercising right now, I invite you to check out my online Strong Bones Pilates Studio, where I offer safe and effective osteoporosis-friendly classes, programs, and private training to help you get stronger faster.

Connect with Lynda on The Wellness Universe.

All information, content, and material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The information supplied through or on this page, or by any representative or agent of The Wellness Universe, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Health-related information provided through this website is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. The Wellness Universe reserves the right to remove, edit, move or close any content item for any reason, including, but not limited to, comments that are in violation of the laws and regulations formed pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. None of the posts and articles on The Wellness Universe page may be reprinted without express written permission.

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