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Obesity Accelerates Effects of Aging on Feet

Heavier people amplify the hobbling effects of age by putting more pressure and stress on each foot with every step. "Obesity causes the same issues as aging, only accelerated," Dr. John Mozena said. And the obese are far more prone to diabetes, the nation 's No. 1 cause of amputed feet. The foot 's arch is a good milestone of the twin burdens of time and weight. The arch is supported by the posterior tibial tendon, which runs from the calf past the inside ankle. Over time, stress can stretch the tendon so the arch sags, making the foot longer and wider. "When people say their foot doesn 't grow, that 's wrong," Mozena said. "It does grow, by the arch dropping." If you don 't change shoe size to accommodate that middle-aged spread, he said, you risk pinched nerves, hammertoes or bunions from the shoe rubbing and squeezing the foot.

Source: Andy Dworkin , The Oregonian , [10/25/06]

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