Obesity increases the risk of childhood asthma by a quarter, according to a large-scale study that suggests that about 100,000 British children have the disease because of their weight.
American scientists say that a tenth of asthma cases in childhood could be avoided if children stayed a healthy weight. The links between asthma and weight are disputed, some saying that obesity could contribute by stunting lung and airway growth. Others suggest that breathlessness caused by weight is misdiagnosed as asthma.
Researchers looked at data on half a million American children over four years, during which time 41,000 had asthma diagnosed. They reported in the journal Pediatrics that 2.4 children of a healthy weight per 1,000 developed asthma each year, rising to 3.2 per 1,000 for…