Could eating junk food be causing your children’s asthma, allergies, and eczema worse? Yes, it could, researchers say.
In a new study published in the journal Thorax, researchers found that teens who ate the most fast food were 39 percent more likely to have severe asthma. The younger children who at the most fast food were 27 percent more likely to have severe asthma. Researchers looked at 400,000 children from 51 countries. Those that ate fast food three times a week or more had the most severe symptoms.
But the researchers aren’t sure if the increase of asthma, allergies, and eczema is caused by the increase in junk food or the decrease in fruits and vegetables. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is known to decrease the risk of breathing problems. The children who ate three or more servings of fruit a week were 11 to 14 percent less likely to have severe symptoms. The daily recommendation of fruits a day for children is two to three servings.
According to Health on Today, the researchers, Innes Asher of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Hywel Williams of the Centre for Evidence Based Dermatology at Britain’s University of Nottingham, wrote:
“Our results suggest that fast food consumption may be contributing to the increasing prevalence of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents and children. The findings have major public health significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally” if cause and effect are proved.
Malayka Rahman, research analysis and communications officer at Asthma UK told Mail Online:
“This research adds to previous studies that suggest a person’s diet can contribute to their risk of developing asthma, and indicates the benefit of further research to determine the effects that particular food groups can have on the chances of developing asthma or the impact it may have on severity. Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma.”