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

sible to be fit and fat in adults, but that really hasn't been looked at closely in kids," Rosenkranz said. "That's what spurred the idea for this research."

At the completion of the project, a follow-up letter was sent to the parents that showed their child's pulmonary test results and body fat percentage, which also had the corresponding fat group based on the child's age, gender and ethnicity.

"It's important for parents to know what's going on with their children at a young age so that they can help do something to maybe stop a downward cycle," Rosenkranz said. "It's especially important for those kids who already are overweight and are very physically inactive."

For many of the students that had higher levels of body fat and lower levels of activity, Rosenkranz said it is possible that they had the early stages of asthma and they didn't know it.

"They might not know it because they might not be doing anything that could ever trigger it," she said.

When an asthma diagnosis is made, Rosenkranz said it is important that the child remain active to prevent airway problems.

Before the study, little was known about the role body composition and physical activity have in airway health in children, Rosenkranz said. When considering childhood obesity, pulmonary function wasn't often considered, she said.

"At K-State, we just started working with the childhood population," she said. "We've been working more with college-age students because that's a handy group to have access to, but with kids, it's a whole new world and there's not much information out there."

For the project, Rosenkranz recently received a doctoral student research award from the Central States chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. She presented her research at the chapter's regional meeting in October. In addition, she rece
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