Air pollution can make children overweight, increase the risk of developing asthma
According to a new study, being overweight is caused not just by a lack of exercise or a poor diet, but also by being exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution.
Air pollution has been linked to obesity in studies all around the world, but this is the first time a new study in the country has proven how high levels of air pollution might contribute to weight gain.
This is also one of the first studies in India among teenage school children to reveal a strong correlation between obesity and asthma, as well as the possibility that air pollution plays a role in both.
Obese children had a 79 per cent higher likelihood of having asthma, according to the study.
This link was strongest in Delhi, which has hazardous air quality year after year.
The Lung Care Foundation studied 3,157 students from 12 schools in Delhi, as well as the southern Indian cities of Kottayam and Mysuru, which have better air than Delhi.
It was discovered that 39.8% of children in Delhi were overweight, compared to 16.4% in Kottayam and Mysuru.
According to the study, this aligns "extremely well" with the reported particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in these cities, which are harmful microscopic contaminants in the air.
Delhi is one of the world's most polluted cities.