It’s no secret that obesity is a major risk factor for many serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. Studies have shown that carrying excess weight significantly increases a person’s risk of developing asthma. Now, a research, which involved analysing health data of more than 500,000 children in the US, suggests that extra weight might be to blame for about a quarter of asthma cases in obese children.
According to the researchers at Duke University and collaborators with the National Pediatric Learning Health System (PEDSnet), obesity may be the only risk factor for childhood asthma that could actually be preventable. The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that obese kids are 30 per cent more likely to developing asthma than their peers who have a healthy weight. Also, children who were overweight but not obese had a 17-per cent higher asthma risk compared to healthy-weight kids.
Jason E Lang, MD, associate professor of paediatrics at Duke and the study’s lead author, said that the research has several limitations, including that the data were collected during doctor’s visits and not in a controlled clinical research setting. He said more experiments are required to prove that overweight and obesity directly cause asthma because scientists don’t fully understand the link between carrying extra weight and the chronic lung condition yet. However, their findings and other previous research, such as how asthma can improve with weight loss, suggests obesity plays a key role or is directly to blame, Lang added.
Benefits of losing weight
Whether or not you have asthma, losing weight has many well-known health benefits. So, if you’re carrying extra pounds, make efforts to lose weight. In fact, even dropping just a few pounds ( as little as 5 %) can make a huge difference. Apart from asthma losing weight reduces your risk of long-term conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc. It increases your energy levels, enabling you to lead a healthier, fitter, happier life.
So, what’s the best way to achieve sustainable weight loss?
Eating a healthy diet along with regular physical activity is the best way to achieve sustainable weight loss, as well as improve overall health. Perhaps, the basic rule to healthy weight loss is to learn how to make healthier food choices and how your body can burn and store fuel and nutrients. Making small, realistic changes in your lifestyle and sticking to them can help you lose weight and keep it off forever.
If you’re asthmatic, make sure that you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise programme. This is critical as exercise can trigger asthma symptoms for some individuals, who would need a personal weight loss plan to help them shed those extra kilos successfully.