Study says eating fast foods is linked to risk of asthma, eczema in kids

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The researchers have found that eating fast food three or more times a week is associated to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children. The...

The researchers have found that eating fast food three or more times a week is associated to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children.

The teenagers who ate three or more likely servings had a 39% increased chance of developing severe asthma, and younger kids had a 27% higher risk, according to a study of 319,000 teens in 51 countries and 181,000 children aged 6 and 7 in 31 countries aged 6 and 7 in 31 countries.

The study did not prove that eating more fast food caused the increase in conditions, which both can be linked to the overreaction of the body’s immune system.

Since fast food was the only dietary category shown to have a link with the disorders, the results suggest that a diet may cause asthma attacks or eczema outbreaks.

Also, eating three or more servings of fruit a week showed the reduced risk in developing those conditions.

Gabriele Nagel, a senior researcher at the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry at Ulm University in Germany said, “What’s clear from this study as that fruits and vegetables turned up as protective factors and fast foods turned up as risk factors.” Mr. Nagel also said, “Our study provides evidence towards giving dietary recommendations in order to prevent asthma and allergies in childhood.”

The study authors included scientists in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Germany and the U.K. They also said, fast foods contain high levels of trans fatty acids, which are known to affect the immune reactions.

Charities including the BHUPA Foundation, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand, AstraZeneca Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the Auckland Medical Research Foundation and other New Zealand charities contributed funding for the research.

An almost fourfold increase in the childhood obesity in the past three decades, twice the asthma rates since the 1980s and a jump in the number of attention deficit disorder cases are driving the growth of chronic illnesses, as per the 2007 study by researchers at Harvard University.

Also, the association between asthma and the obesity supports the theory that sedentary behavior diminishes the functioning of lungs. 


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