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Anthropometric Foot Structure of Peripubescent Children with Excessive versus Normal Body Mass

A Cross-sectional Study

Stewart C. Morrison School of Health and Bioscience, University of East London, Stratford, London, England.

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Brian R. Durward School of Health and Social Care, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.

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Gordon F. Watt School of Health and Social Care, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.

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Malcolm D. C. Donaldson Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, Scotland.

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Background: A variety of musculoskeletal problems have been associated with excessive body mass in children, including structural foot problems.

Methods: Two hundred children aged 9 to 12 years were recruited to evaluate the effect of body mass on foot structure. Three reliable anthropometric measures were recorded: foot length, forefoot width, and navicular height.

Results: Following independent sample t test analysis of the data, significant differences were found for the three anthropometric variables when children with normal body mass were compared with those with excessive body mass. The research indicates that foot length and width increase with body mass, whereas navicular height drops.

Conclusions: Excessive body mass affects the discrete anthropometric structure of the peripubescent foot. With the growing concern about childhood obesity, further research is essential to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues identified and to quantify the findings presented here. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(5): 366–370, 2007)

Corresponding author: Stewart C. Morrison, PhD, Stratford Campus, University of East London, Romford Rd, Stratford, London E15 4LZ, England.