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Obesity worsens asthma symptoms for children, study finds

Obesity causes asthma symptoms in children to worsen, a new study has found.

Researchers who worked on the report published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology studied the records of nearly 40,000 Japanese children who have asthma.

They found that those who were obese had to be hospitalized more often because of their asthma, and they also had to spend longer periods of time in the hospital.

The analysis serves as a warning that obese people have higher chances of dying from an array of fatal conditions.

A new study has found that obesity worsens asthma symptoms for children (file photo)


A 2013 report studied the impact of educating low-income children on how to make healthy food choices.

It found that children exposed to food education programs ate a quarter- to a third-cup more vegetables and fruits at home.

They were also more likely to choose low-fat or fat-free milk. 

It explained environmental hurdles keeping economically disadvantaged people from fresh food, such as safety concerns, high prices, food availability and store upkeep.

People who struggle with obesity are more likely to endure the following conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Breathing problems
  • Mental illness
  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Liver disease 

For the study researchers looked at the records of 38,679 children in Japan who had asthma. Of those, 3,177 were underweight, 28,904 had a normal weight, 3,334 were overweight and 3,264 were obese. All participants were aged three to eight.

All of the patients had been hospitalized because of their asthma, and the researchers looked at how frequently all of the participants were readmitted within 30 days of their discharge.

The researchers also looked at the duration of each participant’s original hospital stay, whether or not they required intensive care and the cost of their medical care while hospitalized.

They found that obese children who were hospitalized because of their asthma had to stay in the hospital for longer periods of time. They also had a significantly higher chance of having to return to the hospital within 30 days.

The study explained: ‘These findings demonstrated that obesity was a risk factor for repeated admissions caused by asthma in children, indicating the importance for the prevention of pediatric obesity.’

The study’s authors emphasized that their work should warn doctors to pay particular attention to asthmatic children who are obese.

They said: ‘These results suggest that obese children require more attention and greater treatment to control their asthma after discharge from hospital.’

Researchers did not determine a link between obesity and an asthmatic child’s need for intensive care or their hospitalization costs.

A CDC report published last week revealed that obesity plagues about one-fifth of American children, adding to a growing body of evidence that highlights the obesity crisis in the US.

Experts are cautioning that if the crisis is not controlled the generation of children reflected in the recent report will experience a wide array of weight-related health problems as they age.