Wait, Could Excess Weight Cause Asthma?


Ever gone for a run and had to stop and gasp for air? What about walking up a flight of stairs and stopping along the way to catch your breath? I think most people have been there; however, it’s a standard action by many, especially if we’re not living a physically active lifestyle. Though ordinary, it’s no lie – breathing issues can be scary. While some people are born with breathing problems, others develop them over time for various reasons such as health, environmental changes, air pollution, etc. 

When it comes to breathing problems, there are six main types we should be familiar with: hyperventilation, dyspnea, bradypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea, and Kussmaul breathing. WebMD explains how each impacts our health and their associated risk factors. 

It’s imperative to know that not everyone who suffers from breathing problems is asthmatic. According to MedlinePlus, Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease.

It affects your airways, the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.

When you have asthma, your airways can become inflamed and narrowed. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and tightness in your chest. Many factors can trigger asthma and cause an attack, like allergic reactions to dust, mold, pollen, pollution, cold air, tobacco, etc. 

RELATED: Excess Weight in Midlife Means a Sicker Old Age

Could weight gain cause asthma?

So, what about weight gain? Can obesity or excess weight gain be a factor in developing asthma over time? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a risk factor for developing asthma! It can also worsen the impact of asthma and make it more difficult to control for those currently living with it. 

In the Black community, when some people are heavy, they say they are “big-boned” or “thick,” and at times, that thickness is appreciated, modeled, and praised! But, where is the line drawn between “being thick vs. being obese?” The status for determining obesity is measured by Body Mass Index (BMI in kilograms per meter squared), which is calculated by dividing the respondent’s weight by height. 

For instance, a person who weighs 183 pounds and is 6’3″ is classified as