Children who are overweight or obese at ages six and seven have a heightened risk of developing asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath by the time they reach age eight according to recent study results in the Netherlands have shown.
Those who are able to reach a normal weight by ages six or seven do not have the increased risk by age eight even if they were overweight previously.
National Institute for Public health and the Environment in Bilthoven Dr. Salome Scholtens said in a statement that the study results show that overweight children are at high risk to develop asthma symptoms versus their thinner and generally healthier counterparts.
The study included 3756 parents all of whom had children under the age of eight. The researchers requested parents report their child’s regular weight and any breathing difficulties or wheezing they noticed.
The children were tested at the end of the study for sensitivity of their airways to inhaled allergies.
The findings were that children who are overweight at age six or seven had a 68% higher risk of developing breathing difficulties and were 66% more likely to be diagnosed with â€˜twitchy’ airways. Those with a normal rate were not placed at any additional risk.