Obese and overweight children ages 2 to 7 years have an increased asthma risk than those of normal weight, a new study says.
The research published in Pediatrics looked closely into more than 507,000 children for about four years from six health centers and examined if the effects of weight on asthma cases for adults are also the same with kids'. These kids, who had no asthma prior to the study, were classified into three groups based on their weight: normal, with body mass index in the 25th to 64th percentile; overweight, 85th to 94th; and obese, 95th and higher.
Researchers from the Duke University and National Pediatric Learning Health System noted that children who developed asthma may have prevented the disease had they maintained a healthy weight. Taking into consideration the age, race, medications, and allergies among many others, the study showed that obese children were 30 percent more prone to developing asthma than ones who have normal weight.
However, obese kids are not the only ones likely to suffer from asthma. Overweight children had an increased risk of 17 percent than those whose weight fell on the normal BMI range.
Prevention Than Cure
While asthma may sometimes be caused by unavoidable and unpreventable factors such as viral infections and heredity, the new study sheds light on how parents can prioritize one of the most manageable causes of the chronic disease.
"There aren't many preventable risk factors for it, and this study suggests that obesity may be one of them," pediatrics associate professor at Duke University Jason E. Lang explained.
Lang added that this is just one of the advantages of kids who have normal weight. However, researchers admitted that the direct link between obesity and asthma is still unknown, so, further scientific studies are recommended to understand how these are related.
Experts' have looked into how the obese or overweight kids' lungs may have developed differently than others of normal weight. Even with the unexplainable connection, it is worth noting that weight, indeed, has a significant role in asthma cases.