Skip to content

Paed Asthma – Weight loss

Evidence Summary
Physical activity intervention studies have been shown to reduce fat mass significantly within asthmatic groups which in turn would lower BMI readings. Studies have shown that as a group, paediatric asthma patients can have a higher body mass index (BMI), rates of central obesity and higher fat mass compared to non-asthmatic populations. Higher rates of central obesity and raised BMI readings have been clearly demonstrated in literature to be associated with a higher frequency of reported asthma symptoms.

Quality of Evidence
Grade A – high quality
Strength of Recommendation
1A. Strong recommendation, statistically significant results from intervention-based studies with no reported harmful effects.

Low levels of physical fitness and activity levels are significantly associated with increased rates of central obesity and raised BMI readings – which have been associated with a more frequent reporting of asthma symptoms. Whether children with asthma are overall significantly less active than non-asthmatic groups is still unclear. However, avoiding sedentary behaviour and encouraging physical activity should be strongly encouraged within this population to prevent obesity and other poor health outcomes.

Chen, Y. C., Y. K. Tu, K. C. Huang, P. C. Chen, D. C. Chu and Y. L. Lee (2014). “Pathway from central obesity to childhood asthma. Physical fitness and sedentary time are leading factors.” Am J Respir Crit Care Med 189(10): 1194-1203.
Groth, S. W., H. Rhee and H. Kitzman (2016). “Relationships among obesity, physical activity and sedentary behavior in young adolescents with and without lifetime asthma.” J Asthma 53(1): 19-24.
Kosti, R. I., K. N. Priftis, M. B. Anthracopoulos, A. Papadimitriou, D. Grigoropoulou, Y. Lentzas, K. Yfanti and D. B. Panagiotakos (2012). “The association between leisure-time physical activities and asthma symptoms among 10- to 12-year-old children: the effect of living environment in the PANACEA study.” J Asthma 49(4): 342-348.
Latorre-Roman, P. A., A. V. Navarro-Martinez and F. Garcia-Pinillos (2014). “The effectiveness of an indoor intermittent training program for improving lung function, physical capacity, body composition and quality of life in children with asthma.” J Asthma 51(5): 544-551.
Matsunaga, N. Y., M. S. Oliveira, A. M. Morcillo, J. D. Ribeiro, M. Ribeiro and A. Toro (2017). “Physical activity and asthma control level in children and adolescents.” Respirology 22(8): 1643-1648.


Public Health England and partners would like to hear from healthcare professionals using the Moving Medicine website. Please follow the link below to participate in our survey. It takes around 5 minutes to complete.

The survey opens in a separate window, and is hosted by Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation.

If you’ve previously completed this survey, thank you, please close this message.

Click here to take part