The list of reasons why parents may want to turn off the computer and send their kids outdoors has just grown longer, as a new study found obese youngsters are at a greater risk for developing allergies than their leaner peers.
The research conducted by experts from the National Institutes of Health examined data on more than 4,000 children aged 2 to 19 and analyzed their allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) or antibody levels developed in response to a range of indoor, outdoor and food allergens.
Overweight children, they found, were about 26 percent more likely to have high IgE levels and therefore develop allergies than those with normal weight.
Dr. Linda Birnbaum, NIEHS director, says the possible link between obesity and allergies should provide additional motivation for parents and teachers to undertake the challenge of reducing childhood obesity.
There are many natural approaches to losing weight, including physical exercise and a diet low in refined sugars and rich in fish, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as nutritional supplements with vitamin D that has been shown to help prevent obesity.