Weight Loss Improves Asthma Control and Quality of Life

Researchers found data to support weight loss for patients who are obese and have asthma.

Diet-induced weight loss in obese individuals with well-controlled asthma improves respiratory function, asthma control, and quality of life, according to a randomized controlled study published in the Journal of Asthma.1

Obesity is known to be associated with several chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and recently has been associated with respiratory diseases, particularly asthma.2 Studies have demonstrated a higher frequency of asthma among obese people compared with individuals of normal weight.3,4 Increased fat tissue is known to increase the severity of asthma, and therefore decreasing the amount of fat tissue in obese people with asthma may lead to an improvement in their symptoms.1

Researchers evaluated the effects of diet-induced weight loss on the characteristics of asthma in 55 obese adults with asthma. They found that changes in body weight, Asthma Control Test scores, and Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire scores of the participants in the diet group were significantly higher than in the control group. In addition, increases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second measurements of participants with a weight loss of at least 5% were significant compared with those who had less than 5% weight loss. They had also found that total energy uptake and carbohydrate consumption were decreased in the diet group but had increased in the control group by the end of the study.

The authors concluded that, “Diet intervention improved asthma control and quality of life in obese patients with controlled asthma in this study. However, to generalize this finding to all asthma patients, further studies including [people with] uncontrolled [asthma] are needed.”1

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  1. Özbey Ü, Balaban S, Sözener ZÇ, Uçar A, Mungan D, Mısırlıgil Z. The effects of diet-induced weight loss on asthma control and quality of life in obese adults with asthma: a randomized controlled trial. J Asthma. 2019:1-9.
  2. Dandona P, Ghanim H, Monte SV, et al. Increase in the mediators of asthma in obesity and obesity with type 2 diabetes: reduction with weight loss. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014;22:356-362.
  3. Liu Y, Pleasants RA, Croft JB, et al. Body mass index, respiratory conditions, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respir Med. 2015;109:851-859.
  4. Brazzale DJ, Pretto JJ, Schachter LM. Optimizing respiratory function assessments to elucidate the impact of obesity on respiratory health. Respirology. 2015;20:715-721.