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Editorial: We probably could have guessed that, study finds

From the Annals of the Obvious comes a study showing that wearing high heels can cause foot pain. The study itself gives us a headache. What possessed researchers to look into this link between uncomfortable shoes and throbbing in the lower extremities? Has there been pushback from the fashion industry, calling for an end to “junk science” and the slander against stiletto heels?

Nonetheless, such a study will appear in the October edition of the journal Arthritis Care & Research. It’s peer-reviewed, too, so don’t try shifting the blame to stockings, poor pedicures or operator error.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 3,372 people were surveyed and a much higher percentage of women than men reported foot pain. This must’ve been the “aha!” moment for researchers to pinpoint the architecture of the shoes. Sure enough, regular wearers of high heels, sandals and slippers reported more pain. Work boots fell into the midrange, with sneakers being the most comfortable.

Now, podiatrists can confidently counsel patients, and they have the footnotes to back it up.

This is hardly the first no-duh study. Thanks to Bryce Edmonds, of MSN Health & Fitness, and Barbara Brody, health editor of Women’s Day magazine, here are some more examples:

Air pollution is bad for children (American Journal Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine), whether they live in Mexico City or Southern California. It seems dirty air affects their respiratory systems.

Smokers spend money on cigarettes that nonsmokers don’t have to spend (the journal Tobacco Control). Therefore, if people stop smoking, they’ll have more money. This is especially important for the poor.

Longer distances in ambulances means a greater chance of dying before getting to the emergency room (Emergency Medicine Journal).

Ninety-two percent of headache sufferers would be happier without them (National Headache Foundation).

“Tweens” are sensitive to peer opinions (the journal Child Development).

Children who are poor or lack insurance have fewer visits to doctors (Journal of Early Intervention).

Perhaps you’ve heard of “beer goggles” or the saying “the girls get prettier at closing time.” Well, a study paid for by a contact lens maker confirms this.

At least we know why that last study was undertaken. As for the rest, there is the idea that the only way to confirm prevailing wisdom is to challenge it.

Even if it is painfully obvious.

The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board

Members of The Spokesman-Review editorial board help to determine The Spokesman-Review's position on issues of interest to the Inland Northwest. Board members are:

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