How fat are your feet? 为了穿漂亮鞋 给脚做手术?

A pair of sandals
Image caption Should we change the shape of our feet to fit into nice shoes?

Vocabulary: size 词汇: 尺码

Has your waistline expanded recently? How about your feet? Researchers have discovered human feet are increasing in size to cope with the extra weight we're putting on them due to obesity. According to a recent survey in Britain by the College of Podiatry, the average foot is two shoe sizes bigger than it was in the 1970s.

They say it's because we're getting taller and heavier. With a bigger frame to carry, the part of our body which moves us around splays out.

About 2,000 people took part in the survey. 61% of women and 68% of men said their feet are getting wider. The problem is, like the stepsisters in the fairy tale Cinderella, many try to squeeze their feet into designer shoes in the hope of looking more streamlined and elegant.

Ill-fitting shoes are hell, I say. But instead of trying to choose a bigger size, some people go to extremes and have surgery to make the foot adapt to the shoe rather than the other way round.

Dr Ali Sadrieh, a podiatrist in Beverly Hills, California, told the New York Times newspaper he came to understand the needs of many a female patient keen to go under the knife. He said: "Patients would bring in shoes they dreamed of wearing. On the surface, it looked shallow. But I came to see they need these shoes to project confidence, they are part of their outside skin. That's the real world."

Another specialist, Dr Neal Blitz, who works in Manhattan, New York, told the newspaper: "My practice has exploded because of Manolo Blahnik, Christian Laboutin and Nicholas Kirkwood."

I wonder how big those designers' feet are. And do they know how much they are influencing these obsessed shoe-wearers? What's next? Toe liposuction?!

I think well-fitting shoes are the way to go. Cinderella was lucky her foot fitted the glass slipper in the fairy tale. But this discovery could be good news for her stepsisters - soon we might all have big feet!