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Childhood obesity, late life osteoarthritis, and social media linkages

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Background: Osteoarthritis, a serious and increasingly prevalent global health condition among older adults, has been linked to the onset of obesity. But is there a linkage between the pervasive use of social media from the earliest point in time and possible subsequent childhood obesity and osteoarthritis that may be amenable to intervention?

Methods: The EBSCO, Scopus and PUBMED data bases were examined as regards data pointing to the possible impact of childhood obesity on osteoarthritis disability risk, as well as the possible negative impact of social media on childhood obesity. The extracted data were presented in narrative format.

Results: While one cannot readily test the above ideas readily, it is concluded from the prevailing data that more risk of being overweight in childhood, as well as having an increased risk for later life disabling osteoarthritis, might be mediated in part, by the unfettered and prolonged use of social media, in early life.

Conclusion: Those in the realm of developing preventive strategies against childhood obesity as well as osteoarthritis are encouraged to examine the role the media environment and messages children are exposed to early on. Alternately, children who already have disabilities, joint pain due to arthritis or other health conditions, and who may have to rely more on social media than others who are active- may suffer more readily from an energy imbalance and become overweight if due precautions are not taken. 


childhood overweight, obesity, osteoarthritis, prevention, social media