Two British studies find that obesity causes children's feet to grow both longer and wider, affecting their walking ability, the BBC reported Thursday.
In one study, podiatrists examined the feet of 200 Scottish children aged 9 to 12 years. Fifty-four were obese, 15 were severely obese, and another 30 were overweight. The researchers found that severely obese kids had feet that were up to 15 millimetres wider and 18 millimetres longer than normal weight children.
A second study, this time of 44 youngsters aged 9 to 11 - half of whom were obese - found that the heavier kids spent more time balancing on two feet when walking and less time on one foot compared to normal-weight kids. They also walked slower than normal-weight children.
"The findings are interesting because previous research suggested that foot problems limit obese children's ability to take part in physical activity - so encouraging them to carry out exercise might not be the best thing," Dr Stewart Morrison, a lecturer at the University of East London, told the BBC.
Both studies were presented at a meeting of the Society of Podiatrists and Chiropodists. – (HealthDayNews)