New study links drinking soda with asthma

Growing up, I battled with severe asthma. Though most of my childhood was pretty much normal, my asthma did sometimes prevent me from participating in activities that other kids my age were doing--especially since running around for too long could trigger an attack. And just coming down with a simple cold was the worst--at least half the time, what would be typical runny-nose and tight chest symptoms on someone else would turn into a trip to the doctor's office or even the ER for me.

That's why I was so interested when I saw that scientists in Australia found new research that links fizzy drinks to the development of asthma or the severe breathing condition Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). 

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The study tracked the health and soft drink consumption of almost 17,000 people aged 16 and over. The final result was shocking: In total 13.3% of the participants who had asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD said they drank more than half a litre of soft, fizzy drinks every day.

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This is even more troubling when combined with the racial disparities found in children with asthma. In a study conducted in 2010, Black and Latino children of all ages were more likely to be diagnosed with asthma than white children. Hispanic kids between the ages of five and 10 specifically were more likely to have emergency department visits related to asthma. Puerto Rican children reported the highest prevalence of asthma of all groups.

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Thankfully, I grew out of my asthma. Still, that doesn't mean I don't remember all of those terrifying visits to the hospital --which is why I think this research is so important. Though the Australian study focuses on people 16 and over, there's no reason not to start preventing earlier, especially when seeing the high risk of asthma in young Latinos. Soda has already been linked to heart disease and other illnesses. So if giving it up, at ANY point in your life, can lower your or child's chance of dealing with a potentially life threatening disease, why not start now?

What do you think of the link between fizzy drinks and asthma? Would you and your family ever give up soda?

Image via themohers/flickr

Topics: diseases  latino health  womens health  health care