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Asthma and obesity - we must do better!

Second highest rate of asthma and the fourth most obese - we must do better!


The Asthma Foundation joins the New Zealand Medical Association in their level of concern about obesity – especially with how it contributes to respiratory conditions.

Being obese can increase inflammation in the airways and lead to worsening asthma. If you are overweight you are also at risk of sleep apnoea which blocks breathing during the night and leads to daytime sleepiness.

Children who are obese often grow into adults who are obese. "Being the fourth fattest country in the OECD and with the second highest rate of asthma in the world is nothing to be proud of," said Teresa Demetriou, national education services manager.

Access to cheap fatty foods and poverty can take some of the blame. Research suggests that a poor diet with high amounts of processed food, fat and refined sugar increases the prevalence of asthma.

Prevention is the key to addressing respiratory health in New Zealand. The Asthma Foundation fully supports measures to combat the increase of asthma by working tirelessly to raise the profile of respiratory disease through education, research and advocacy.

"What we put in our mouths makes such a difference to our health, we need to encourage especially our young people to eat well to live a full life!"

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