People who are obese or overweight can breathe 7-50 per cent more air per day than an adult with healthy weight, reveals research. Higher inhalation rates among overweight or obese people make them more vulnerable to air contaminants causing asthma and other pulmonary diseases.
The study was conducted by Dr. Pierre Brochu, a professor at Universite de Montreal's School of Public Health.
For overweight or obese children, daily inhalation rates are 10-24 per cent higher than for normal weight children.
Obese class 2 people have the highest average air inhalation, or 24.6 m3 per day.
Dr. Brochu said that's 8.2 m3 more than the 16.4 m3 an average adult with normal weight breathes daily, or 50 per cent more air and pollutants.
Obese Class 2 people are adults whose weight is between 35 and 40 kilos for each square metre of their body. The classification of overweight/obese children is different than those for adults. Air contaminants - including ammonia, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide, to name a few - are respiratory irritants.
Inhalation rates were determined using disappearance rates of ingested tracers (deuterium and heavy oxygen) measured in urine samples of free-living people for an aggregate period of over 16 000 days.
The tracers were used to measure the quantity of carbon dioxide exhaled by each participant during real-life situations in their normal surroundings each minute of the day, 24-hours per day, over 7 to 21 days.
The findings have been published in the international journal Risk Analysis.