Obesity linked to fat and flat feet
Obese children tend to have flat feet with extra fat padding as compared to their normal-weight peers.
People with flat feet have a lowered arch on the inside of the foot, such that if they wet their feet and stood on a flat surface, they would leave a complete footprint.
It is known that obese children tend to have flatter feet than their normal-weight peers. To identify whether flat feet in obese children is linked to problem in the foot's bone structure or fat padding, researchers followed 75 obese Australian children and 75 thinner children, all aged between 6 and 10 years. Researchers used ultrasound tests to examine the feet of the participants. Height, weight and foot dimensions were also measured.
It was found that obese children had more fat padding the soles of their feet and also tended to have flat feet with lower arches.
This study shows that obese children have significantly fatter and flatter feet compared to normal weight children. However, more research is needed to follow these children over time, to see how obesity - as well as weight loss - might affect the structure and health of their feet in the long run.
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