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Minerva Pediatrica 2015 August;67(4):311-9


language: English

The nutritional status and the height of the arch of the foot in preschool children

Jankowicz-Szymanska A. 1, Pociecha M. 1, Mikolajczyk E. 2, Kolpa M. 1

1 State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow, Institute of Health Sciences, Tarnow, Poland; 2 Department of Physiotherapy, University of Physical Education, Krakow, Poland


AIM: Childhood obesity is an increasingly common problem. It is associated with poor posture especially with lower limb deformities. The study aimed at assessing the prevalence of overweight and obesity in preschoolers, the analysis also contained the relationship between the nutritional status and the foot arching.
METHODS: One thousand two hundred ninety-four children at the age from 3 to 6 years took part in the study. The height and weight of the children were measured. From these measurements, the BMI and Cole Index values were calculated. The prevalence of overweight and obesity were estimated. The degree of foot arching was measured using a podoscope and categorised according to Clarke’s angle (CA). Differences in CA between right and left foot were analysed across all groups according to age and gender. Secondly CA for both feet was compared between girls and boys from all age groups. Thirdly, CA was compared for the same gender but between different age groups. Finally, nutritional status and CA for the right and left foot were correlated. Basic descriptive statistics, the U Mann-Whitney test, a one-way ANOVA and the linear correlation study were used to verify the presence of trend.
RESULTS: Twenty percent of boys and 15.7% of girls were found overweight, and 9.8% of both male and female subjects were found obese. The prevalence of overweight increased with age. The longitudinal arch of the foot was higher in girls. It increased with age. The height of the longitudinal arch of the foot was smaller in overweight and obese children.
CONCLUSION: A substantial number of overweight and obese preschoolers took part in the study, in which a significant dependence between excessive body weight and flat feet was found. The preschool education programmes should include pro-health exercises combining aerobic training with exercises developing good body posture habits.

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