Effect of Obesity Level on the Longitudinal Arch in 7- to 12- Year-Old Rural and Urban Children

Background: We sought to evaluate the influence of obesity level on the medial longitudinal arch (MLA) of the foot in 7- to 12-year-old children.

Methods: The study group consisted of 925 children (450 girls and 475 boys). All of the children were subjected to podoscopic foot examination and measurement of weight, height, three skinfolds, fat weight, and fat-free body weight.

Results: The most common type of MLA was high-arched foot, which was observed in the left foot of 523 children (56.5%) and in the right foot in 592 children (64%). In almost all of the age groups, high-arched foot was the most common disorder. High-arched foot was more common in girls than in boys, and boys displayed a higher percentage of flatfoot. Also, sex-related differences were more prominent in urban children. There was a strongly positive correlation between obesity level and MLA in the examined group.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the type of foot arch is influenced by parameters such as age, sex, and obesity level. High-arched foot seemed to be the most frequent pathologic abnormality in the examined group, and flatfoot, which was predominant in boys and obese children, diminished with age. High-arched foot was a more common MLA type than flatfoot regardless of obesity level assessed on the basis of body mass index and sum of three skinfolds. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 105(6): 484- 492, 2015)

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