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Do ear infections cause obesity?

Children who have frequent ear infections may be at increased risk of becoming overweight or obese, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention. Chronic infections may damage nerves controlling taste, so that kids prefer sweet, high-fat foods. One study found that preschoolers with frequent ear infections ate more sweets and fewer vegetables than their peers and tended to be heavier; another suggested that toddlers who had ear infections treated with tubes had higher body mass indexes. Further research is needed to confirm the link.