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Obesity Causes Podiatric Problems


It makes sense if you think about—the more you weigh the greater the pressure on your feet and the more prone you are to foot pain and other podiatric issues. Several studies have confirmed this direct link between foot health and weight.

At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we see the negative effect of carrying too much weight impacting your foot health in two ways. The first is it increases the frequency and severity of several specific foot conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Gout
  • Tendonitis
  • Forefoot stress fractures
  • Flatfeet and arch problems

The second way that obesity affects your feet is that it significantly raises your risk for systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. These diseases can affect your circulation and your immune system and therefore can result in problems for your feet such as neuropathy, sores and wounds that don’t heal and other issues as well. If you are overweight, it’s obvious that shedding pounds is beneficial and to do so means making some basic changes in your eating habits.

Put Your Best Fork Forward

That’s the recommendation of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for National Nutrition Month. What this means is that you can change how you eat with every forkful of food you put in your body. It’s not about “being good” one day and binging the next. Losing weight and being able to maintain an appropriate weight means enjoying healthful eating on a daily basis. Here are some tips:

  • Explore new foods. A stroll down the produce aisle in the grocery store will reveal many different fruits and vegetables, some of which you probably haven’t tried. Strive to create a colorful plate to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. Experiment with different spices and seasonings as well as cooking methods.
  • Make small substitutions. Reduce carbohydrate intake by using baby carrots, mushrooms or celery as dippers for hummus or salsa instead of crackers or chips. Drink flavored seltzer in place of fruit juice. These can quickly become new habits that will help you lose pounds and keep them off.
  • Watch how much you eat as well as what you eat. Try using a smaller plate to automatically train you to take smaller portions.

As you lose weight you’ll feel better and enjoy being more active. If you have a foot problem that you believe may be weight related, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco will evaluate your foot condition and help you make healthy choices for your feet and your whole body.