A UK study (1) is only the latest of a number of studies that demonstrate a close connection between obesity in children and damage to their feet.   The study, published in Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, studied 200 kids between ages 9 – 12 and compared those with normal body mass to those carrying excessive weight.

The overweight children has several problems related to the feet.  These children had feet which were flatter, longer and wider.  This flattening and splaying of the feet leads to excessive stress on the bones, tendons and ligaments of the feet.  In turn, this leads to damage to the tissues and pain.

Obviously, the best treatment is to help your child lose excessive weight.  Talk to your pediatrician and also consider working with a registered dietitian.

You can protect your child’s feet by using stable shoes and good arch supports until they lose the excess weight.   We recommend Arch Angels Arch Supports for Kids

Most kids do not need arch supports or orthotics.  We do, however, recommend any child that is overweight should wear arch supports until they reach a healthy weight.

If you are in the Seattle area, you can bring your child to see us for an evaluation. Our podiatrists specialize in children’s foot problems.

(1) Anthropometric Foot Structure of Peripubescent Childrenwith Excessive versus Normal Body Mass: A Cross-sectional Study.  Morrison S. et. al.  September/October 2007 • Vol 97 • No 5 • Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Dr. Douglas S. Hale

Specialist in foot and ankle biomechanics/orthotics and reconstructive surgery at Foot and Ankle Center of Washington
Douglas S. Hale, DPM, is an advisor for the International Foot & Ankle Foundation for Education and Research. He graduated with honors from both Tulane University School of Engineering and the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. His engineering background gives him a unique perspective treating your problem biomechanically or surgically and believes in doing what is best for your medical condition. If all options for treating your problem “biomechanically” are exhausted, he provides the same level of capability and experience with surgical solutions.
Dr. Douglas S. Hale

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