Home > Blog > Childhood Obesity and Your Child’s Feet

Child obesityCanada’s Childhood Obesity Foundation reports that over thirty percent of Canadian youth are overweight. This translates into serious health conditions at much earlier ages. Obesity in children affects the entire body, and the feet are no exception.  Foot specialists are seeing an increase in foot conditions among children and excess weight is often the reason.

Conditions such as osteoarthritis were once considered to be diseases of the aging. However, if the body’s frame is carrying more weight than its design can manage, foot and ankle pain will result. The actual structure of the foot is affected due to the excess pressure placed on bones and joints while they are still in the development process.  In some cases, deformities result.Unfortunately, these types of issues cause changes such as flattened arches that result in biomechanical concerns. Changes in gait are common, and have a negative impact on the health of a child’s feet, ankles, knees, and back.

A higher rate of injuries has been noted among overweight boys and girls. Ankle sprains and fractures are the outcome of overstressed bones.  Balance is often impaired as well, and falls are more likely. While custom orthotics may be prescribed to address gait and structure issues, their effectiveness is also limited by the extra weight on a child’s frame.

Diabetes and other serious health problems are directly linked to obesity. Children with this disease are at even more risk for foot health concerns. Foot care is a critical part of diabetic care, and children are no exception.

Are you concerned about your child’s weight? Have they complained of foot pain during activity, or limited play time due to pain?  This issue can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Address your concerns now with the team from Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic. Chiropodist Tony Abbott and his expert staff will walk with you and your child through this difficult but important process. Call (705) 444-9929 today to make an appointment at our Collingwood, ON office, or schedule online.

Photo credit: Clare Bloomfield via freedigitalphotos.net