By Nancy McCann
Ten year-old Jack looks longingly out his living room window, yearning to play kickball with his friends. But mom doesn’t want his asthma to flare up, which it tends to do when he runs around. As much as he wants to go outside, he won’t, because he knows how uncomfortable he gets when his chest starts to tighten. Instead, Jack spends hours on the couch in front of the television, playing video games.
This reinforcing cycle keeps churning — exercise and outdoor play are great for combatting Jack’s obesity, but they’re bad for his asthma. Sitting around begets more weight troubles, but it doesn’t cause him breathing discomfort. Around and around it goes.