Kids With Asthma: Obesity More Likely
Researchers Say Strategies Needed to Promote Exercise
Dec. 4, 2006 -- Children with asthma are more likely to be obese and less
likely to exercise than those without the disease, a British study shows.
"Asthma was identified as a barrier to exercise by parents and
children," write the University of Nottingham's Cristine Glazebrook, RGN,
PhD, and colleagues in Pediatrics.
But physical activity is important for everyone, including those with
asthma; nearly half the children with asthma in Glazebrook's study were
The researchers call on experts to develop strategies to promote exercise
for children with asthma.
About the Study
Glazebrook's study included 117 children age 7-14 years at British health
Fifty-six of those kids had asthma and were treated at asthma clinics. The
other 61 children didn't have asthma.
Researchers checked the kids' BMI (body mass index), which relates height to
"Nearly half of the children in the asthma group were overweight,"
the researchers write, noting that more than 20% of the asthmatic kids were
In comparison, only about 30% of the kids without asthma were overweight or
obese, with 7% in the obese category.
Sidelined by Asthma
The kids with asthma were less physically active, based on surveys completed
by the children and their parents.
Two-thirds of the children and almost as many parents in the asthma group
said asthma was a big reason why the children skimped on physical activity.
A third of the asthmatic children said better control of their asthma would
help them be more active.
The children's social and economic backgrounds don't seem to explain the
results, the researchers note.
Tips for Exercising
With care or pretreatment, people with asthma can exercise normally and
Those with asthma generally do better with exercise in environments with
relatively high humidity since exercise-induced airway narrowing (bronchospasm)
is caused by drying of the airways.
Slow warm-up and cooldown periods with exercise also helps to prevent
exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB).
If you have asthma, ask your doctor about how to exercise safely.