Musculoskeletal system

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 9
Word count: 2334
Topics: Obesity, Anatomy, Childhood Obesity, Health, McDonald's

Explain why the knee is the most complex joint in your body and compare it to the hip in terms of size and complexity

Jarvis defines the knee joint as the enunciation of the patella, tibia and femur bones along a standard midline (2015). With the largest synovial membrane in the body, the knee forms a suprapatellar pouch extending 6 cm past the quadriceps. It takes two sets of ligaments to stabilize the knee, the collateral, and cruciate ligaments, which regulate rotation, control friction and boost stability. During an assessment, due to the joint’s susceptibility to injury, one must be careful to palpate the superior and sides all the three bones meeting to make up the knee, which increases the complexity of knee assessments. On the other hand, Jarvis describes the hip joint as the enunciation between the femur’s head and the acetabulum, whose motion is supported by a ball-and-socket function. As such, the main difference between the knee joint and the hip joint is that the former is an articulation of three bones while the latter is an articulation of two. Since strong muscles, a deep insertion of the femur head and a firm articular capsule characterize the hip, it possesses more stability and bears more weight. During an assessment, there are bony landmarks that guide the palpation process. Flexion especially helps to enunciate these bones, making the process quite straightforward.

Articulate musculoskeletal changes that take place in the body as a person becomes more or less physically active

The musculoskeletal system is subject to variation as developmental changes occur (Jarvis, 2015). For instance, when a woman is pregnant, progressive lordosis occurs to adjust posture as the fetus matures. For people over the age of 40, resorption of the bones results to decreased bone density. The foot bears most of the body’s weight as it is distributed in the calcaneus and metatarsals heads. Increased rates of obesity in present day increases the rampancy hyperpronation, due to changed gait with a hindfoot eversion (Stovitz & Coetzee, 2004).  High body weight puts pressure on the plantar region while walking or standing, with even higher pressure on the heads of metatarsals. Further, eversion of the calcaneus occurs in overweight and obese people because the Achilles tendon gradually becomes tighter. Healthy People 2020 suggests various mechanisms, both dietary and physical activity-related, that apply to reducing obesity and subsequent pressure on feet.  In a series of dietary guidelines released for the American people, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee acknowledges that over half of the American adult population is obese and about 44% of the population has low bone density or osteoporosis issues, with a higher number of these statistics being women (2016). The article blames this catastrophe on the unhealthy eating habits of the Americans. In retrospect, it advises on healthy dietary patterns, the inclusion of nutrient variety, calorie limitation and integration of physical activity to combat obesity. It emphasizes on the significance of physical activity in health promotion and disease prevention.


Examine the “obesogenic” environment prevalent in the United States. Discuss some societal changes that have occurred in response to this problem (e.g., apple slices in McDonald’s Happy Meals)

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee asserts that obesity is one of the most common problems affecting Americans today, with over 50% of the population being either overweight or obese, increasing the risk of lifestyle diseases (2016). In search of solutions to this predicament, researchers have consistently studied the eating patterns and nutritional inclusion in the United States. Due to increased sensitization on healthy eating habits, the American society is gradually adapting to healthier lifestyles.

From personal knowing, most of my friends and family have constantly struggled with weight issues because their busy lives only allow for take-out meals. The fast food meals often have high fat and calorie content. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee asserts that people that constantly opt for fast food are at a higher risk of obesity than their counterparts who have home cooked meals. As such, most health enthusiasts are slowly making time to prepare home cooked meals to control their fat and calorie intake. Some fast food restaurants like Chipotle have also attempted to make foods that are more like home cooked meals in terms nutritional value. Concerning aesthetic knowing, people have become more aware of the effect of their eating habits on their health. As such, they are keener on the content of the food they eat. In response to this, most fast food restaurants like KFC and McDonalds have included nutrition calculators on their websites to make their customers aware of the fat and calorie intake in the meals they order. Regarding ethical knowing, most fast food restaurants have adopted values of nutritional content transparency, food ingredient disclosure and food source disclosure. This ensures that their clients are acutely aware of the nutritional value of the food they choose to eat. From empirical knowing, there is a direct correlation between unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyle diseases like obesity (Murray, 2001). Due to the increased public health concerns over the unhealthy food offered to its clients, McDonalds has adopted a quality variety menu that includes milk, fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and eggs, which have lower calorie and fat levels.

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  1. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2016). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Government Printing Office.
  2. Jarvis, C. (2016). Physical examination & health assessment. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier
  3. Murray, B. (2001). Fast food culture serves up super-size Americans. Monitor on Psychology32(11).
  4. Stovitz, S. D., & Coetzee, J. C. (2004). Hyperpronation and foot pain: steps toward pain-free feet. The physician and sports medicine, 32(8), 19-26.
  5. Sturgeon, J., & Meer, J. (2006). The first fifty years 1956–2006: the president’s council on physical fitness and sports revisits its roots and charts its future. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports the first, 50, 1956-2006.
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