An Essay Discussing The Increased Risk Of Asthma In Obese People

432 words - 2 pages

Childhood Obesity Linked to AsthmaResearchers found the fattest children were 77 per cent more likely to have asthma symptoms. They suggested that the increased weight might lead to inflammation in the respiratory tract, which could be the key factor in inducing asthma. Asthma, a respiratory disease, is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths each year, according to the Monthly Vital Statistics Report. At present, there is no cure for asthma. Asthmatics manage their disease with medication and avoiding situations that will bring on an asthma episode, also know as an asthma "attack".When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes of the lungs, constrict narrowing the air passages. The air passages become inflamed and swollen which increases mucus production in the lungs, blocking air passages. While there are many factors such as allergies , air pollution and cigarette smoke, scientist are researching the connection between obesity and asthma.Results from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 15 percent of children and adolescents ages 6-19 years are overweight, this represents a 4 percent increase from the overweight estimates of 11 percent obtained from NHANES III (1988-94). Childhood obesity is responsible for 50 percent of pediatric diabetes, sleep apnea, and asthma.In this age of fast foods and "instant" meals, it has become common practice for consumers to ignore the nutritional or, in some cases, the non-nutritional value of these products. While these foods are convenient, they are also harmful to the health of our children. Loaded with sugar, fats, and sodium, they increase the bodies inability to burn off excess fat from these products.Our culture has also become less active. With the increase of video games and computer technology, playing video games has taken precedence over physical activity. Children are more apt to ask for a new computer than a bicycle. This decrease in physical activity, also aids the body to store fat rather than burn it off.Asthmatics who manage their disease with steroid medications, either through inhalers or pill form, run the risk of retaining fluids, which leads to becoming overweight. With added weight it becomes difficult for the asthmatic to stay physically active. Often times even a short walk can bring about an asthma episode.

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