Do you cringe while listening to weather or sports reporters loudly gulp air after every sentence, including short sentences?

What is UP with this most annoying phenomenon that seems to be far more prevalent among people who give the weather?

Nosily and loudly gulping air before each sentence isn’t limited to just weather people, though. It’s also observed in sports anchors.

Oddly, you’ll likely never hear a person, who delivers the regular news, engage in this cringe-worthy habit.

• But IS it only a habit?
• Perhaps it’s a way to create more drama?

Or are those loud gulps and gasps of air the result of a medical condition? And if so, why does this medical condition affect weather reporters and not regular news reporters?

“It’s most likely a habit,” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Besser explains, “There aren’t any specific illnesses that cause it. Although, if someone doesn’t breathe from their nose (it’s congested or maybe they have nasal polyps or a deviated septum), that would cause mouth breathing.”

But we can’t ignore a hardcore fact: This maddening habit is most often committed by those who deliver the weather – from local weather reporters to those on the national level including at least one I’ve witnessed on the Weather Channel.

I’ve witnessed this grating habit with a few sportscasters as well. But you won’t hear it with other types of newscasters.

This is non-scientific but very strong evidence that there is no medical condition involved.

Is news delivery harder on the lungs, requiring frequent noisy gasps for air?

Though it seems as though nearly all of these reporters speak quickly, they don’t speak nearly as fast as an auctioneer, and we’ve all heard auctioneers speak long chains of sentences at warp speed without taking a breath.

Have you ever had a conversation while walking on a treadmill to the person next to you? Are you noisily gulping for air after every sentence?

Well yeah, if you’re walking 3 mph at 15 percent incline, but walking at a level grade with normal speed expends a lot more than standing still and pointing to a weather map.

Even if you speed up your speech, you still won’t be as desperate-for-oxygen-sounding as some of these weather and sports reporters.

Ever participate in a group aerobics class? Gee, even the instructors, who often do a lot of fast talking, get the job done without sounding as though they’re trudging up a 30-degree mountain trail.

I think it’s just a gimmick, a bid for more drama. It started somewhere and caught on like wildfire, akin to that universal (though very cheesy) symbol for using a phone – you know, when someone puts their hand to the side of their face and extends their pinky and thumb? Cringe!

Or, we can think of it as akin to “upspeak” or the Valley girl talk, or other silly speech fads. Weather reporter, sportscaster, gulp and gasp air as they talk.

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



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