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Obese Kiwis Risk Losing Their Feet

Obese Kiwis Risk Losing Their Feet

MELBOURNE, Oct. 7 /Medianet International-AsiaNet/--

Shocking Ministry of Health data shows that at least 50% of adult New Zealanders are now obese or overweight.

Therefore it is very important for obese people to understand that Obesity Can Damage Your Feet. This is also the theme for the Australasian Podiatry Council’s Foot Health Week 2008 promotion, which runs across New Zealand between October 12 and 18 this year.

Being obese puts people at greater risk of developing diabetes and long-term foot, leg and back problems, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Tracking The Obesity Epidemic report.

“At its worst, obesity creates diabetic complications that can lead to foot or toe amputations,” explains Podiatry New Zealand Executive Officer, Wayne Tucker.

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels become too high because the body’s natural mechanism for storing sugar to use as energy is not working effectively.

“Untreated, diabetes can cause patients to lose the feeling in their feet. Which means they might not notice injuries until a serious infection occurs. However in most cases, with regular care from their podiatrist, patients can avoid the risk of serious infection that leads to the risk of amputation,” Mr Tucker says.

The prevalence of diabetes has been increasing over the past two decades, with 175,542 kiwis now afflicted by Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes New Zealand.

Early diagnosis of weight-related problems can help to prevent severe foot nerve damage. For patients at risk of developing diabetes, some foot conditions are an early warning sign. For example, a patient should visit their podiatrist immediately if they notice numbness or tingling, calluses, blisters or dry and cracked skin anywhere on the foot that takes two or more weeks to heal.

How can a patient prevent increased body weight from leading to diabetes and damaged feet? New Zealand nutritionists recommend increasing the amount of regular exercise and switching diet to reduce sugar intake while increasing the consumption of fibre and vitamins.

Foot Health Week is staged by the Australasian Podiatry Council during October each year to remind us of the strong links between foot health and individual well being.


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