Additional Information about
Asthma and Obesity
What is asthma?
Asthma is defined as airflow restriction and inflammation of the airways.
- In a 2004 study, University of Arizona researchers tracked 800 children from 6 to 16 and found that kids who were overweight or obese at puberty were three times as likely to continue to have asthma problems into their later teen years than those who were not overweight or obese.
- A Cleveland Case School of Medicine study of nearly 800 children ages 8 to 11 found that kids with wheezing or asthma were more likely to have a higher body mass index.
- In the Bay Area, both asthma and obesity are epidemics among youths. Asthma is the number one reason for admission at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. In 2003, the hospital had 5,000 patient visits for asthma and about 1,400 admissions–double from 1999.
- About one in five middle and high schoolers in Oakland Unified School District has asthma. In East Oakland, the childhood asthma hospitalization rate is four times the national target, or one child in a hundred under the age of 15.
- Americans spend $10 billion a year on childhood asthma medications and treatment.
- Nationwide, more than 9 million children and youths between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.