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Overweight people more likely to have bad breath, TAU study finds
Date:12/13/2007

Now theres another good reason to go on that diet after the holidays. Tel Aviv University researchers have published a study that finds a direct link between obesity and bad breath: the more overweight you are, the more likely your breath will smell unpleasant to those around you.

The research, led by breath expert Prof. Mel Rosenberg from the Department of Human Microbiology and The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, was reported in the Journal of Dental Research in October. The study also reported, for the first time, scientific evidence that links bad breath to alcohol consumption.

The finding on alcohol and bad breath was not surprising because the anecdotal evidence was already there, says Prof. Rosenberg. However, the finding that correlated obesity to bad breath was unanticipated.

A Weighty Sample

The study was done in Israel and included a sample of 88 adults of varying weights and heights. While at a clinic for a regular check-up, they were asked by graduate student Tsachi Knaan, a co-author in the study, whether he could test the odor of their breath and ask questions about their daily habits.

Prof. Rosenberg, Knaan and Prof. Danny Cohen concluded from the data that overweight patients were more likely to have foul-smelling breath. This finding should hold for the general public, says Prof. Rosenberg. But we dont have any scientific evidence as to why this is the case. That will be the next step.

He surmises that the connection between obesity and bad breath could be caused by several factors. Obese people may have a diet that promotes the condition of dry mouth. Prof. Rosenberg also suggests that people who are obese may be less in tune with taking care of their mouths and bodies. We have certainly opened a window of questions here, says Prof. Rosenberg.

Halitosis of the Ancient World?


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University  
Source:Eurekalert

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