Health Watch — Obesity Dangers: Shortness of Breath

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


 This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the dangers associated with obesity and the lifestyles that may lead to obesity. Exercise is an essential part of a healthy weight-loss program, but some obese people find themselves short of breath after even modest activity.

Dr. Tony Babb, a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says obese people may have the same capacity for exercise as lean people, but they often have a higher oxygen cost. That means the body consumes more oxygen with exercise or stress, compared with lean people, so obese people are more likely to become short of breath when they exercise. This keeps many obese people from being able to exercise, which then makes it more difficult for them to lose weight. Researchers at UT Southwestern are conducting a study to learn why this happens, and that may help in developing exercise programs tailored to obese people.


September 2007

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