Fast food linked to severe asthma and eczema in children, while fruits and veggies are protective

A recent article from ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) published by researchers from New Zealand showed a strong association between fast food consumption and asthma, nasal allergies, and eczema.   ISAAC is an ongoing worldwide study of the asthma and allergic diseases.  This particular ISAAC study surveyed 319,000 teenagers in 51 countries and 181,000 children ages 6 and 7 in 31 countries.  Teenagers who had 3 or more servings of fast food a week were 39% more likely to have severe asthma or eczema; the younger children who had 3 or more servings of fast food were 27% more likely to have severe asthma or eczema. Furthermore, the study found that kids who had 3 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a week were protected from severe asthma or eczema.   Three or more servings of of fruit a week were associated with a decrease in asthma and eczema symptoms by 11 percent among teenagers and by 14 percent among the younger children.  These findings raise concerns about the increase in fast food  (increased saturated and trans fats) — and concurrent decrease in fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets — and its impact on asthma and allergies globally.   The scientific article from ISAAC was published in the journal Thorax.  For a quick read, see the Bloomberg news article.

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