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Childhood Obesity Linked to Severe Asthma

Posted on August 08 2013

Asthma is no fun for any kid. However, did you know that if your child is overweight, statistically speaking, their symptoms will be more severe? It has been found that children who carry around more weight are more likely to struggle with asthma than kids of normal weight, according to a recent study’s lead author, Mary Helen Black, from the department of research and evaluation at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California.

During the study, Black and her team of researchers examined the electronic health records of exactly 623,358 children at Kaiser Permanente. Each child was classified anywhere from normal weight to extremely obese, based on their current height and weight.

After extensive research, Black and her team came to the conclusion that those children who were obese are between 1.16 to 1.37 times more likely to develop asthma than normal-weight kids and risks continued growing as their body-mass-index increased. These obese children also experienced more frequent and severe episodes of asthma, which ultimately leads to more doctor’s visits to treat the condition, as well as an increased need for inhalers to help restore normal breathing.

The link between asthma and obesity was especially pronounced among obese girls between the ages of 6 and 10 who had between 1.36 and 1.56 times greater risk of asthma compared to girls of normal weight their age.

According to Black, the inflammation caused by body fat was found to be a factor with an increased risk of asthma. The extra pounds could also affect the severity of asthma by just simply placing additional weight on the child’s chest.

With obesity rates climbing in today’s society, take control of your child’s weight by ensuring a healthy diet with a lot of play time. Become a role model – show your kids what healthy living looks like, in order to give them the tools they need to succeed in the future, ensuring them a long, healthy life!

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