Once, kids played like their lives depended on it. If only kids still did.

Once, kids played like their lives depended on it. If only kids still did.

Chunky. Hefty. Big-boned. For parents of overweight children, it’s all too easy to minimize reality. But the consequences of a heavy childhood may actually result in a generation of children with shorter life spans than their parents.

Encourage physical activity and better nutrition. Do whatever it takes to get your kids as active as kids once were. Activity and weight-bearing exercise will help your child live stronger, and live longer. For more advice and information, visit orthoinfo.org, aap.org/obesity and posna.org.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) want to increase awareness about the importance of exercise, and how exercise can affect bone and joint health. Activity and weight-bearing exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It plays a key role in preventing many obesity-related medical disorders and health conditions such as diabetes. Because it increases the load on your joints, obesity can aggravate bone and joint conditions, such as back pain and knee problems.

Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of these conditions by increasing muscle strength and flexibility, and reducing body fat. So get up, get out, and get moving. For more information, visit orthoinfo.org, aap.org/obesity and posna.org.

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