If you are a parent, then chances are your child has had one if not several ear infections during their childhood. Some kids seem to be especially prone to chronic middle ear infections and researchers have now found a link between that condition and obesity. The research seems to show that kids with middle ear infections develop certain palate preferences - especially for fatty foods. Since chronic middle ear infections and obesity are 2 prominent childhood public health issues, this link is being taken quite seriously.
A group of studies looked retrospectively at almost 6600 people between the ages of 16 and 92 and through questionnaires and a BMI measurement they found that nearly 62% of those with a history of chronic middle ear infections also qualified as obese. Researchers postulated that damage to taste perception might lead to a preference of certain foods and a risk by association for obesity. Another theory they also looked at was whether lingering nerve damage - post tonsillectomy - also affected taste, and therefore posed an increased risk for obesity. It seemed that girls who had their tonsils removed were 30% more likely to suffer from obesity.
Since obesity has nearly doubled over the last 20 years, the more data collected to provide clues to this phenomenon - the better equipped health experts are to intervene and offer prevention as well as treatment.
Published On: August 20, 2008