Healthy Feet Incompatible With Fat

Obesity can lead to foot amputations, warns a podiatry organization in Australia. This is "particularly [true of] those patients who have diabetes, because they can lose feeling in their feet and sustain injuries, which can get infected and sometimes require amputation," said Brenden Brown, vice president of the Australasian Podiatry Council. And, he said, most people are completely unaware of the feet-fat connection.

In a trend similar to that in the United States, 72 percent of middle-aged Australian men and 58 percent of middle-aged women are now obese or overweight, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Brown, a podiatrist for the past 13 years, has personal experience to back up his warning on obesity. Over the last three years, he lost 55 pounds.

In addition, in his practice he has seen terrible obesity-caused foot conditions. Furthermore, he said, fully half of his current patients have conditions connected with being overweight. Obesity can be reversed by lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise far more easily than cancer, the podiatrist said.

"The problem is," Brown continued, "people start their health kick and commit to doing some exercise, but after just a few sessions, due to their weight, they will experience foot soreness and give up. Before I lost weight, I found walking and other activity uncomfortable and painful, so I stopped. Once you stop activity, you get further into the obesity cycle."

The way to address this syndrome, Brown said, is to ask a podiatrist's professional opinion on appropriate footwear, which can then be fitted. "Obesity puts extra pressure on the joints in the feet, leading to pain and problems in the way the foot aligns during walking, running and other physical activities," he said. "Early diagnosis of weight-related problems can help to prevent severe foot nerve damage."


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