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Healthy Lifestyle, Ideal Body Weight

Maintaining an ideal body weight is one of the most important parts in management plan of asthma patients.

Many researches has established the relationship between asthma and body weight.
Generally, the higher body weight you have, the more risky for you to develop asthma symptoms/ attack.

Risk of Obesity / Overweight


A meta-analysis study on effect of high body weight on asthma concluded that children with high body weight, either at birth (defined as birth weight 3.8kg) or later in childhood (defined as BMI > 85th centile for age and gender), are at increased risk for future asthma [1].

Obese patients have reduced lung expansion thus reduce lung compliance and volume. Furthermore, the increase in the normal functioning of adipose tissue in obese subjects leads to a systemic proinflammatory state, which triggers the asthma attack. [5]

 Benefit of Losing Weight

06A systematic review recently conducted also has demonstrated the reversibility between weight loss and asthma.

It found that all 15 relevant studies showed an improvement in at least one asthma outcome after weight loss.

 Diet and Eating Advice for Asthmatics



There are some dietary considerations proposed to have roles in asthma management and still undergo ongoing studies.

These dietary advices are recommended to people suffering with asthma as well as healthy eating habits for those at high risk to get asthma.

  1. Modifying fatty acid intake
    • Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish oils is potentially beneficial to asthma, whereas omega-6 and trans fatty acids intake may be detrimental to asthma [4]
    • Low fat diets are evidenced to promote weight loss and obese patients may be at risk of acquiring asthma


  2. Avoidance of salty foods

    • Pulmonary function improves with low salts diet, thus helps in reducing asthma severity
  3. Increase fruits, vegetables, and high anti-oxidants food intake
    • Studies have found that supplemental anti-oxidants or combination of vitamin C and vitamin E significantly improved exercise-induced asthma
  4. Vegetarian and vegan diets
    • A clinical trial of a vegan diet, noted improvement in lung function (vital capacity and FEV 1) and physical working capacity after 1 year on vegan dietbbi_7
    • However some observational studies shown conflicting result and suggested protective effect of dairy products use in relation to asthma.

People with asthma should also avoid any allergenic foods as identified per individuals.


Generally, asthma can be well managed with combination of healthy dietary intake and medications.
We encourage diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as minimizing fats and oils containing FOOD.




  1. Flaherman V., Rutherford G.W., A Meta-analysis of the effect of high body weight on Asthma, Arch Dis Child. 2006. 91 (4):334-339.
  2. Eneli I.U et al, Weight loss and asthma: a systematic review. 2007.
  4. Mc Keever T.M., Britton J. Diet and Asthma, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2004.
  5. J Delgado, P Barranco, S Quirce, Obesity and Asthma, J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2008; Vol 18(6): 420-425


Last Reviewed :  03 Mei 2016
Writer :  Mohd Khairi b. Maslehan
Accreditor :  Dr. Azza bt. Omar


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