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Posted on 10-13-2013

Blog:  Baby-Boomers, Obesity, & Future Disability

Authors: Brett J. Lemire, DC, CSCS & Nancy L Lemire, BS, DC

The Baby-Boomer population (those born between 1948-1964) is entering the pre-Senior years, and health statistics are not encouraging. Shockingly, according to recent UCLA research, 72% of Sacramento Baby- Boomers are over-weight or obese up from 61% in 2003 (1).    Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and it is associated with a host of unwanted, preventable deleterious consequences.

Obesity almost never shows up on its own.  It often comes hand in hand with degenerative osteoarthritis (irreversible damage to joint surfaces) diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke, just to name a few!! Take a look at some of the obesity -related, avoidable illnesses that boomers are plagued by as they age:

Obesity is closely tied into type 2 diabetes, both of which are linked to diet and exercise.  As a result of these two co-morbid conditions we also see loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and osteo-arthritis, both of which further compromise your ability to move.  Obesity is seems to be the common factor coupled to accelerated changes in body composition, mobility and pain, and is occurring at a younger and younger age.

According to Kenneth Covinsky, a geriatric specialist in San Francisco “a lot of functional limitations we consider associated with old age are starting to emerge in people in their 50s and 60s."   This also translates into that the co-morbities are aging us faster than we would like. 

Why do we see so much arthritis with obesity?  One study found that for every pound loss in body weight would translate into a reduction of four pounds of pressure from the knees for each step taken.  In practical terms, just losing 10 pounds of body weight means will spare the knee 48,000 fewer pounds of pressure per mile (2).

Bottom line:  Obesity is linked to earlier onset of physically disabling degenerative changes in the body.  Take action before it’s too late!!

Conclusion:

The rise in obesity in the Baby-boomer population is having devastating affects on the quality of health and quality of life of this generation as well as resulting in skyrocketing current and future medical costs and disability.

Studies show that by losing between 5-10 percent of your body weight, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke!  By just dropping a few excess pounds through a reasonable diet and adhering to a regular moderate exercise routine, you can reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your knees, hips and spine thus helping yourself to avoid degenerative arthritis and future injury and stability.

In the next several blogs, we will discuss how to modify your diet for fat loss and improved heart health, the types of exercise routines that result in body fat reduction and how to improve your quality of life in the years to come.

Brett J. Lemire, DC CSCS, founder of Universal Chiropractic Spine & Sport in Elk Grove.  Dr. Brett is also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, has been trained in Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) according to Kolar.  He has taken numerous post-graduate courses with some of the world’s leading authorities in Manual Medicine and Spine and Sports Rehabilitation techniques.  You can contract Dr. Lemire at 916-683-3900.

Sources:

  1. http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2013/9/16/ucla-survey-finds-about-72percent-of-sacramento-baby-boomers-are-overweight-or-obese
  2. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/news/20050629/small-weight-loss-takes-pressure-off-knee

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