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Associations Between Obesity and Pediatric Foot Dimensions

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Background:

The influence of childhood obesity on shape and structure of the pediatric foot remains poorly understood. The purpose of this work was to determine associations between obesity and pediatric foot dimensions.

Methods:

A retrospective analysis of pediatric foot dimensions (foot length [FL] and foot width [FW]) in 3,713 children aged 3 to 18 years was undertaken. Logistic regression was used to determine relationships between FL, FW, and weight category.

Results:

Compared with obese peers, typical weight (FL, P < .05 [odds ratio (OR)] = .83; FW, P < .05 [OR = .56]) and underweight (FL, P < .05 [OR = .76]; FW, P < .05 [OR = .41]) boys had significantly shorter and narrower feet. Overweight (FL, P = .02 [OR = .88]; FW, P = .02 [OR = .72]), typical weight (FL, P < .05 [OR = .77]; FW, P < .05 [OR = .47]), and underweight (FL, P < .05 [OR = .70]; FW, P < .05 [OR = .33]) girls had significantly shorter and narrower feet.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that obesity is an important determinant of pediatric foot dimensions. Given the current prevalence of obesity in children and young people, these findings may have population-wide implications for pediatric foot health.

University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences, Eastbourne, United Kingdom.

London Metropolitan University, Public Health Nutrition Research Group, Faculty of Life Sciences & Computing, London, United Kingdom.

St. Mary's University Twickenham London School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, Twickenham, London, United Kingdom.

Corresponding author: Stewart C. Morrison, PhD, University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences, Darley Road, Eastbourne BN20 7UR, United Kingdom. (E-mail: s.c.morrison@brighton.ac.uk)