Fast food linked to asthma in children

FAST food is not just bad for our waistlines, it could also be contributing to the severity of asthma and eczema.

An international study involving half a million children and adolescents found three or more servings of fast food a week was linked to an increased risk of severe asthma, eczema and rhinitis, a condition characterised by a runny nose and watery eyes.

The study, published this week in the respiratory journal Thorax, found a 39per cent and 27per cent increased risk of asthma severity in teenagers and children respectively.

Butter, margarine and pasta were also linked with severe asthma in adolescents.

But on the upside, fruit appeared to have a protective effect against these  conditions.

Eating three portions was linked to a reduction in symptom severity of between 11per cent and 14per cent among teenagers and children respectively.

The study was part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, a large research project encompassing more than 100 countries and nearly two million children.

The findings did not suggest fast food caused the diseases, but if further research did prove this it would have major public health implications. AAP


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