A study published in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine suggests that young children with asthma have a greater risk of obesity than non-asthmatic kids. In a study of 2,200 elementary school students in California, childhood asthma was connected to a 51% increase of obesity over the next 10 years.
It’s worth noting that the study found a link, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship, between asthma and obesity. Not every child with asthma will become obese.
There are a number of potential explanations for the association between asthma and obesity.
- Lack of exercise. Asthma flare-ups limit the amount of time children spend playing outside. Fear of an asthma attack can also limit activity.
- Sleep disturbance. Sleep disruption with asthma is common and also a large risk factor for obesity. It’s impossible to lead a healthy, active lifestyle if sleep problems are limiting energy reserves.
- Asthma medications. Weight gain can be an unfortunate side effect of some asthma medications.
The results of this study speak volumes as to how important proper asthma treatment is. Children who used rescue medicine like quick-relief inhalers had a 43% lower risk of becoming obese. When asthma is properly treated and managed, kids can live perfectly normal lives. As long as asthma is controlled, it shouldn’t impact the amount of physical activity children can do.
If you or someone you love struggles with asthma, connect with us to see how we can help.