News 9 MD: Decreasing asthma symptoms through a healthier lifestyle

Published: Oct. 30, 2014 at 9:59 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - Asthma is the number one reason kids miss school.

Almost one in 11 children in the U.S. struggle with it, but thanks to a new study, researchers say children with chronic asthma may have a chance at living symptom-free.

Arturo Vega, 14, learned to cook when he was only eight.

"I like cooking bistec and arroz, like rice and beans," Arturo explained.

Today, Arturo is putting those cooking skills to good use and he's recently adopted a healthier lifestyle. A new study indicates that avoiding certain fatty foods and adding Omega 3-Fish Oils to the diet may help decrease asthma symptoms in kids.

"Perhaps having more of this healthy type of fat that has an anti-inflammatory effect, could it actually help treat asthma and treat the inflammation with asthma," said Dr. Jason Lang, a pulmonary pediatrician.

Doctors also say overweight asthma patients are at a disadvantage.

"When kids are obese, they respond to the normal asthma medicines in a reduced manner," Dr. Lang added.

As part of the study, Arturo logs the food he eats and takes an omega three supplement.

"Since May he doesn't use the medicine for the asthma," said his mother Tamaris Cruz.

Arturo says he hasn't had an asthma attack since he started the study, and he has more energy.  He's hoping to use his experience and his passion for cooking to become a future healthy celebrity chef.

Dr. Lang is in the process of extending the study through may 2016. Participants are required to make four to five in-person clinic visits.

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