Obesity increases risk of lower-extremity injury, pain among youths: study

July 25, 2012

Pasadena, CA – Overweight and obese youths are about 30 percent more likely to have lower-extremity injuries and report lower-extremity pain than normal-weight youths, according to a new study (.pdf file) from researchers at health care provider Kaiser Permanente.

Researchers analyzed medical records for more than 900,000 youths between 2 and 19 years old from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children’s Health Study between 2007 and 2009. Overweight and obese youths between 6 and 11 years old were found to have the greatest increase in risk for lower-extremity injuries, except for dislocations.

Researchers said that although increasing physical activity when overweight or obese carries injury risks, the benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks and should be encouraged.

The study was published online July 11 in the journal Injury Prevention.