Obese Kids Tend to be Flatfooted
Obese children are likely to have flatter feet compared to their normal-weight counterparts. Researchers speculate that this is due to a problem in their foot’s bone structure as well as extra fat. Flatfooted individuals have low arches on the inside of their feet. To test if you are flatfooted, simply wet your feet. Now stand on a flat surface. If it leaves a complete footprint, you are flatfooted.
For this study, the researchers examined the feet of 150 children aged 6 to 10, half of whom are obese and the other half thinner children. This study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
When we were babies and toddlers, we had flatfeet. But as we age, the arch on the inside of our foot will develop. However, obese children tend to retain the flatfoot condition. This is assumed to be due to their excess weight, which creates the “fallen” arch.
The other possibility that researchers have looked into is that overweight children have more fat deposited in their feet. This results in lowered arches. This could become a problem for them, which may include foot, back or ankle pain.
Lead researcher Dr. Diane L. Riddiford-Harland of the University of Wollongong said the condition does not need any special therapy. Rather, arch supports placed as soles in shoes can do the trick.
The researchers, however, added that further study is needed to determine if the overweight condition could affect the children’s feet health in the long run.