How to Beat Childhood Obesity Without Hurting Kids' Feet

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Obesity can hurt kids' feet, but exercise can too!Childhood obesity is a growing problem in our country, with Houston being no exception, and we all know that part of the solution to this epidemic is getting kids off the couch and into sports or other forms of exercise.

Unfortunately, overweight children tend to have fatter and flatter feet, which means they are more likely to experience foot pain, especially as they start stepping up their activity level in an attempt to get healthy.

This could become a double-edged sword, says Diane L. Riddiford-Harland, an Australian researcher at the University of Wollongong who led a study on the effect of exercising on overweight children’s feet. Kids need to lose weight in order to relieve pressure on their feet, but the very act of exercising can cause enough discomfort to make the cure for the original problem impossible to tolerate.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? First of all, a visit to your Houston podiatrist can help—getting your child fitted with custom orthotics can help alleviate the pain associated with flat-footedness as your child begins to get more active. We can also work on shoe choices that will support a healthier lifestyle.

It’s also a good idea to be smart about the exercise choices you make for your family—if your son or daughter isn’t quite ready for running, think of introducing options with less impact on the feet, such as swimming or bike riding.

The bottom line is, we want our kids to be able to run, jump and play, getting or staying healthy without ever experiencing pain. If foot pain is keeping your child from the business of being young, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.