India has 15–20 million asthmatics out of which roughly around 15% are children between the age group of 5 and 11. Asthma, a condition due to the inflammation of the air passages in the lungs, attacks people of any age, but often starts in childhood. It is characterized by shortness of breath and wheezing during exhalation. A renowned journal study puts forth the fact that there might be some connection between asthma and obese/overweight children, especially in kids who have excess body fat around their abdomen.
The Reason behind the Attack
Registered dietitian nutritionists are not clear behind the link between overweight/obesity and asthma. They speculate it to be because of genetics, changes in airway hyper-responsiveness, changes in diet, physical activity and more. Recent research nails down on inflammation as the cause of the disorder. Overweight and improper diet schedules are the reasons behind chronic low-level inflammation, which could aggravate the airways resulting in asthma.
RDNs further feel that asthma and obesity together in an individual is quite difficult to deal with. Such individuals are more resistant to steroid treatments, require greater use of medications and more hospitalizations than healthy weight children affected by asthma.
All is Well
But the good news is that, even a slight decrease in weight can decrease the incidence of asthma. One study proved that when very young children having high body weight developed a normal weight by age 7, they would no longer be at an increased risk of getting asthma. The same fact holds good in the case of older children and adults with asthma, where lung functions and symptoms improve with weight loss.
Educate overweight children with/without asthma on the benefits of a healthy body weight. Healthy weights can help to manage or prevent the disorder. You can also get in touch with an RDN at www.firsteatright.com who can help you plan a healthy diet chart for weight loss along with suitable physical activities for healthy weight reduction. Certain studies even insist on increased intake of vitamin D, fruits, vegetables and seafood for reduced asthma symptoms. You can meet the health requirements of your child by offering him/her a portion of fruit and/or vegetable at every meal and snack along with a portion of whole grains and low-fat milk.