Friday, August 29, 2008

Ear Infections and Obesity Study

Did you read that news blurb about a new study that links a history of ear infections with obesity? As someone who did have many ear infections as a child and as an adult, and in fact had to have surgery to remove a cholesteatoma from my right ear, almost certainly as a result of a not fully-healed ear infection, I was intrigued by it, and did a little more digging. Quoting from a UPI article about these findings: "In one study, 6,584 people ages 16 to 92 responded to a series of health questions that determined their history of middle ear infections and their body mass index. The findings showed that those with a moderate to severe history of otitis media were 62 percent more likely to be obese." It all has to do with ear infections causing damage to the taste-sensing nerves which correlates to an individual then having a more pronounced taste preference for fatty and sweet foods. There also seems to be a correlation to increased obesity in children who had tonsillectomies. (I did.)

Fascinating. Obviously, we're all ultimately responsible for deciding what goes into our mouths, regardless of what our taste preferences are. But it is nice to know that maybe there are factors that make it just that much more likely to go down one path instead of another.

Perfect causation? Of course not. For me, it just underlines the requirement for me to remain devoted to healthy eating and exercise for the rest of my life. And that's OK, better than OK even.


carla said...

I hadnt seen that and my Toddler is the queen of infections (tho not yet the princess of the ear tubes...)

off to read.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, I never would have guessed. I'm surprised it even occurred to someone to do the study!

Thanks for passing this on.