A series of studies on people obese people has discovered a strange link between ear infections and obesity. According to the study, a sever ear infection and even tonsils in childhood hints at obesity in later life.
The ear-infection known as recurrent otitis media damages the nerves that are involved with taste note researchers. Kathleen Daly, a professor of otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota, notes in the first study that “middle ear nerve damage may play a role in affecting taste in children with recurrent ear infections or chronic ear disease who get [drainage] tubes. This damage may increase intake of fattening foods.”
However, many other experts are unconvinced by this study saying it to be the most unlikely link. There were five studies conducted by researchers that were presented at the American Psychological Association annual meeting in Boston.
The first study was conducted preschoolers who were heavier owing to their diet that included more of sweets and less of vegetables and they showed a past record of ear infections.
“Obesity has doubled over the past 20 years among pre-school children,” said Daly.
Then researchers also studied more than 6,500 people belonging to the age-group of 16 to 92 with past record of ear-infection. These people were estimated to have 62 percent more chances of obesity.
Another study on more than 13,000 children belonging to the age group of 6 to 17 and removed tonsils showed that even tonsillectomies can put people at the risk of obesity as it causes nerve damage. Another study confirmed changes in preference of food after removal of tonsils.
Change in the preference of food was also found in middle-aged women who had damaged taste nerve. These women preferred more of high-fat foods and sweet that are obesity causing foods.
Referring to the studies Daly notes that the larger is the evidence or data collected the more it can help in preventing major public health problems.