According to the latest America’s Health Rankings report, obesity is getting worse and people are increasingly sedentary. As a result, more Americans are suffering pain in their knees and hips, and are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries. In some cases, arthritis develops in the joints.
The number of patients requiring knee or hip replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is on the rise. The United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention have compiled the annual rankings for 25 years. They determined that obesity increased every year except 2013, USA Today reported. For the third straight year, Hawaii ranked as the healthiest state. Next on the list were Vermont and Massachusetts. Mississippi was in last place, just behind Arkansas and Louisiana.
The researchers found that Hawaii had “low rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty, preventable hospitalizations and deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease.” Mississippi showed “high rates of physical inactivity, low teen immunization rates and small disparities in health status by age.” Nationally, the obesity rate among adults reportedly rose from 27.6 percent to 29.4 percent during the past year. Almost 25 percent of Americans told researchers they had not exercised or done any physical activity in the preceeding month. That was slightly more than the percentage of people who gave that answer in 2013.
The USA Today noted that obesity is “a leading contributor to death,” and that it has “more than doubled over the last 25 years.” Carrying too much weight has been linked to musculoskeletal problems involving the knees, hips and other parts of the body. Numerous studies have indicated that obesity also increases the odds of having high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease; or contracting Type 2 diabetes. Almost one in 10 adults in the United States has been diagnosed with diabetes, more than twice as many as in 1994. “What people are not focusing enough on is that we are producing an extraordinary number of people who are unnecessarily sick,” Reed Tuckson of Atlanta, senior medical adviser to the United Health Foundation, told USA Today. “They are pouring into the medical system.
It’s a total crisis.” The newspaper pointed out that “rising numbers of American adults have the most dangerous kind of obesity, belly fat.” However, researchers also detected a 3 percent drop in the number of people who smoke tobacco. They reported a 5 percent increase in child immunizations and a 4 percent decline in infant mortality. The annual report breaks down the obesity data not only by state, but also in terms of income, education level and race. Health-care authorities use the information to measure the success of their wellness programs.
The American Council on Exercise has set a goal of ending what it calls “the obesity epidemic” by 2035. The organization advocates the creation of more safe places for children to walk and play after school, as well as walking and running routes for adults. “One of the areas we’re trying to spend a lot more time on is trying to understand the behaviors and why people make certain choices,” Anthony Wall, the council’s director of professional education, told USA Today. “They need tools to make a change themselves.”
Knee and Hip
Knee and hip pain can result from an injury, like a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage; or a medical condition, such as arthritis or gout. The discomfort may progress to the point that it becomes difficult to walk and engage in other simple, everyday activities. When conventional treatments fail to relieve the pain and restore joint function, knee or hip replacement (arthroplasty) sometimes becomes necessary. If you are suffering from pain and disability in a knee or hip, schedule an evaluation by the renowned sports medicine staff at Orthopedic Surgery San Diego to learn how to relieve your symptoms.