We have all been well educated on the fact that being overweight puts us at a higher risk for many health conditions including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Being obese is defined as having a BMI, or body mass index, of 30 or higher. According to the World Health Organization, in 2008 11% of the worldwide population (over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women) were obese. These numbers are nearly double what they were in 1980.
What you may not be aware of is that being overweight also puts you at an increased risk of developing a variety of foot, knee, and hip problems. In 2012, The Institute for Preventative Foot Health conducted a National Foot Health Assessment. This assessment found three key factors relating to obese people and their foot health:
- 51% of obese people rate their foot health as fair or poor,
- 40% of obese people are currently experiencing a foot issue; and
- 16% of obese people rate their current foot pain as a 7-10 on a 10 point scale
If your foot pain is related to your weight, the easiest way to alleviate the pain would be to lose weight. Although this can seem easier said than done, especially when the simple act of walking results in more foot pain, there are measures that can be taken to help minimize the risk to your feet while you are losing weight. There are ways to lose weight without stressing your feet. You can use these weight loss techniques until you have lost enough weight to begin physical activities and do so without causing foot pain.