Unhealthy diet leads to issues down the road

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A podiatrist may not be the first doctor you think of when it comes to getting advice on what to eat and what to avoid in a healthy diet. But maybe it should be.

Dr. Randall Thomas is a podiatrist at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. He may seem like an unlikely source for tips on healthy eating but he sees plenty of patients whose problems are the result of an unhealthy diet.

"I see, multiple times a day in my office, young kids with progressive foot problems we used to not see until people are in their 20s," Dr. Thomas said. "A lot of that has to do with childhood obesity. Lack of flexibility, lack of exercise, more sedentary lifestyles."

It may sound cliche but dr. Thomas says the old adage is true. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

"Whatever you do today is the result of who you're gonna be in 10 years," Dr. Thomas said. "So, being more active, eating healthier and trying to do maintenance care is a huge part of success."

Start by eating fresh and stay away from items that are processed and pre-packaged.

"Some of the anti-inflammatory-based diets have made a huge difference in my patient population," Dr. Thomas said. "Going into the more healthy, plant-based whole food diet... Kinda staying on the periphery of the grocery store, not buying anything in a box. I've seen it help a lot in some of my folks with chronic arthritis, gouty arthritis and more systemic problems."

Another thing to avoid: fast food. Although there are healthier options on the menu, most people opt for the burger and fires.

"We can sustain that as young adults. As older adults, it can be very problematic," Dr. Thomas said. "For children, I think it sets up bad habits and we're seeing earlier and earlier diabetic complications."

Learn more about the importance of eating healthy at Thursday's OhioHealth HOOFit Walk at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.