Study Finds Short People Get More Lung Disease


Photo via Radiopaedia

Good nutrition is, as most are well aware by now, of the utmost importance for individual health. Not smoking helps too. That bit of obviousness over, a new study has found that people who grew up with poor nutrition and in smoking environments are more likely to be shorter, and more likely to suffer from chronic lung disease. As the BBC explains, "People who develop chronic lung disease are more likely to be shorter in height than the general population, University of Nottingham researchers say." They're also more likely to be from poorer backgrounds, where smoking was more prominent, and more likely to have received poor nutrition in the womb--which can stunt development.

The importance of good eating has again been a hot topic of discussion, with Michael Pollan again on a publicity tour with his new book, Food Rules. And studies like this only drive home why nutrition should be such an all-important focus, and a cornerstone of the green movement.

From the BBC:

The researchers think that people who came from poorer backgrounds were more likely to have ... had poor nutrition during their early years affecting general growth and lung development. Poorer nutrition in the 'womb' and when growing up as a child can affect general growth and lung development.
As is tragically often the case, much of this is due to poverty, and families being unable to provide their children with a nutritional diet. In the study, the researchers
looked at more than one million people aged over 35 for their study. They say those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) were 1.12cm shorter on average. In the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, they write this lack of height may be a "marker" that people have come from a poorer background.
All of which makes arguments for making better food cheaper--by say, subsidizing more actual produce instead of the production of high fructose corn syrup--all the more resonant. It's time Cheap food stopped being synonymous with unhealthy food in the US--that a McDonald's hamburger and a fresh tomato cost the same is a disgrace.

More on Nutrition and Lung Disease
Curb the Ozone Pollution Problem and Prevent Lung Disease
Legionnaires' Disease Spreading Rapidly Across U.K.

Best of TreeHugger