Chronic Ear Infections Kids. Chronic ear infections was part of a recent study in kids that tend to make them fatter. Korean researchers have found that it causes children to have less sensitive taste bugs than their peers.
It’s not the first time scientists have described this relationship, yet nobody fully understands it. One intriguing possibility is that ear infections damage the nerves conducting taste signals to the brain, and so make kids eat more.
In principle, that could play a role in obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions in many areas of the world, because ear infections are one of the most common childhood conditions sending kids to the doctor.
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For the new study, Dr. Il Ho Shin of Kyung Hee University in Seoul and colleagues compared the sense of taste in 42 young kids with chronic middle ear infections and 42 kids without the disease. All were between age 3 and 7.
They found those with ear infections were heavier than the others, with a body mass index (BMI) of 20.6 compared to 17.7. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height. In kids, age is factored in, and a BMI of 17 is about average for boys, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts.
The sense of taste was also impaired in those kids with ear infections, and they had more trouble tasting sugar and salt than the others.
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