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Obesity Makes Kids Vulnerable to Pollution

Posted - May 25, 2004 at 1:40 p.m.



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ORLANDO, Fla., May 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Massachusetts researcher has found obese children are more susceptible than normal-weight children to the harmful effects of air pollution.

The work of Heike Luttmann-Gibson of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston was presented Monday at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Orlando.

"Given the epidemic of obesity in children, it might be that we're developing a population that is more susceptible to air pollution," Luttmann-Gibson said.

She and her associates studied 611 Boston-area fourth- and fifth-graders who were participating in a study of short-term effects of air pollution.

They found associations between air pollution and lung function were two to five times stronger for obese children than for normal-weight children. The more obese a child was, the stronger the effect was of the previous day's air pollution on his or her lung function.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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