Sunday, February 25, 2018

Childhood Obesity and Asthma

Childhood obesity creates many problems. Those problems exist in childhood, and may continue into adulthood. The problems include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses. One illness that often receives little attention in relation to childhood obesity is asthma. It has long been believed that obesity during childhood can have negative effects on asthma, and now more has been uncovered about the childhood obesity-asthma relationship.

One study concluded that what a mother eats during pregnancy, and what a child eats during his or her early live can raise the risk of asthma during childhood.  If a mother consumes drinks with high levels of sugar and fructose corn syrup while pregnant, and if the child consumes large quantities of sugar and fructose corn syrup in drinks, the child's risk of asthma increases.

Indeed, the researchers performing the study indicated that "women who consumed the most soda and sugary beverages during pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma by mid-childhood than mothers who never or rarely had sodas during pregnancy." Further, the researcher suggested that "kids who had the most total fructose in their diets earlier in childhood were 79 percent more likely to develop asthma than children who rarely or never had fructose."

And some of the consequences of asthma on a child during his or her childhood have been established. It has been determined for example that "Compared to healthy-weight peers, asthma sufferers who were untreated and overweight suffered 37 more symptom-days -- more than five extra weeks -- per year."

So, healthcare providers should counsel patients on the risks of sugar sweetened beverages to children in general, and the asthma risks in particular. The providers should counsel pregnant mothers to limit their intake of sugar sweetened beverages, and discourage the use of sugar sweetened beverages by their children. 



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