American Indian Children Hit Hard by Obesity...

A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine claims 1 in 5 Native American preschoolers are obese. Children were considered obese if their body-mass index (BMI) placed them in the 95th percentile or higher on government growth charts. Of the 8,550 participants the rate of obesity among Asians was 13%, whites 16%, blacks 21%, Hispanics 22% and a startling 31% for American Indian children. Researchers cite possible genetic disparities as reason why, but also blame lifestyle issues such as low-income status; the Associated Press reports.

Makes sense, a recent report linked childhood poverty with an 82% higher risk of cardiovascular problems later in life and in February, researchers determined 89% of American preschoolers are not active enough. Not a good combination, especially when you consider weight gain in very young children increases their chances of becoming obese as they mature. Add all that up and you’re in a lot of trouble, no matter what race you are.

Occupation doesn't seem to matter either. Many emergency responder recruits, like ambulance drivers and firemen, are overweight and unable to meet national fitness standards. Even U.S. combat troops in Iraq are getting fat! I still can't believe that.

Image credit: Daleberts

TV Turns Up Asthma Risk in Kids...

To be published in an upcoming issue of Thorax, new research claims children who watch more than two hours of television each day have a higher risk of asthma. The study tracked respiratory function of 3,000 children from birth to 11.5 years of age. Starting at age 3.5, parents were asked to describe their child’s respiratory health and if they manifested any symptoms, such as wheezing, or if they had been diagnosed with asthma. Data revealed only 6% of kids developed asthma, but those watching two or more hours of TV each day were twice as likely have asthma; HealthDay News reports.

Sitting around watching Sponge Bob all day isn’t healthy, especially since previous research has associated obesity with a greater likelihood of asthma, as well as exposure to common household chemicals like cleaning sprays and air fresheners. So get the kids out of the house!

In related news, traffic pollution, specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the byproduct of incomplete gasoline combustion, has been linked to asthma risk in babies.

Image credit: thevoicewithin

Health-Points: Friday 2.27.09

  • I guess squirrels don’t get peanut allergies. But kids don’t have to get them either! A new study in the journal Allergy claims kids fed increasing amounts of peanut flour over a period of six weeks actually built up higher thresholds to peanuts over time; via FoodNavigator.


Image credit: ~Jetta Girl~