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K-State Researcher Finds Correlation Between Childhood Obesity and Asthma
Date:12/12/2008

MANHATTAN, Kan., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Kansas State University graduate student has found a correlation between childhood obesity and asthma.

Sara Rosenkranz, doctoral student in human nutrition, Manhattan, conducted research that found that healthy children with higher levels of body fat and lower levels of physical activity had greater amounts of airway narrowing after exercise.

"Kids who are overweight and inactive are having -- even at the age of 8 to 10 years old -- a negative response to exercise challenge tests, which might be contributing to the increase that we've been seeing over the past several decades in asthma prevalence as well as obesity prevalence," Rosenkranz said.

Rosenkranz worked with other K-State faculty and students to recruit 40 children in the 8- to 10-year-old age range to participate in exercise studies. All of the children were healthy, meaning none of them took medication or had a diagnoses or history of acute or chronic disease, including asthma.

For Rosenkranz's project, the children completed pulmonary function tests, an exercise test that doctors often conduct to determine if children have asthma, and body composition tests.

The children also took questionnaires to determine if they were active or inactive compared to the standards of their age, gender and ethnicity.

After the exercise challenge, the researchers measured the children's FEV-1, which determines if the individual's airwaves narrow post-exercise. The researchers found that the higher the body fat and the lower the level of activity of the child, the more likely they were to have asthma-like symptoms following exercise. In fact, these specific children had FEV-1 measures that many consider to be classified as exercise-induced asthma.

"It was pretty interesting. There's that whole idea that it's pos
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SOURCE Kansas State University
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