Obesity Is Hard on Children’s Feet

childhood obesity

Childhood obesity has become a big problem in our country – so much so that the month of September is designated as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Meghan L. Oltmann, DPM want you to know that feet can really suffer when you’re overweight.

Even worse, studies show that a child who is obese is much more likely to remain obese as an adult. That sets a child up for a lifetime of potential foot problems.

How obesity affects feet

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that feet are so vulnerable to the effects of obesity. Consider these facts:

  1. The foot is made up of many muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
  2. These structures are designed to work in harmony with each other. For example, muscles stretch and contract when you walk and joints allow you to bend your ankle in order to squat down.
  3. When you walk, run, or jump, the full force of your weight is absorbed by all these little parts that make up your feet.

So, if you’re obese, you’re taking these intricate structures and putting extrademands on them.

Obese children aren’t exempt

Growing children put their feet at risk when they’re overweight. At Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, we’ve treated kids with very adult problems such as

  • Heel pain– inflamed tissues result in plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
  • Flat feet – put too much pressure on anything, and it’s going to flatten out!
  • Sever’s disease occurs in children when muscles are strained around the heel’s growth plate.

Prevent foot problems in kids

Here’s the bottom line: too much weight can overstress children’s feet. During Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann encourage parents to make foot health just another reason to teach their kids good eating and exercise habits in order to stay at a healthy weight. We’re here in Solon, Ohio to help you maintain good foot health for yourself and for your kids, so call us at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online with your questions or to make an appointment.