Toddlers who have asthma are more likely to become obese children, a study led by scientists from the University of Southern California (USC) has found.

The scientists found that children diagnosed with asthma had a 66 percent higher risk of becoming obese than those without an asthma diagnosis.

For children with persistent wheezing symptoms, their risk of developing obesity was 50 percent greater compared to children without such symptoms.

Children with active asthma were nearly twice as likely to develop obesity than those without asthma and wheezing, according to the study.

Lida Chatzi, senior author and professor of preventive medicine at USC, said asthma and obesity have adverse effects on children’s health.

“It’s a chronic childhood disorder and if it increases the risk of obesity, we can advise parents and physicians on how to treat it and intervene to help young children grow up to enjoy healthy¬†adult lives,” Chatzi said.

The scientists investigated 21,130 children born between 1990 and 2008 across nine countries.

“Asthma may contribute to the obesity epidemic. We urgently need to know if prevention and adequate treatment of asthma can reduce the trajectory toward obesity,” said Frank Gilliland, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, who participated in the study.

The study, conducted by a team of 40 scientists including researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, was published in the European Respiratory Journal.



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