Teenagers and young children who eat fast food could be increasing their risk of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever, according to a study published Monday in the British Medical Journal's respiratory journal Thorax.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) study used written questionnaires completed by 319,196 13- and 14-year-olds from 51 countries and by the parents of 181,631 6- and 7-year-olds in 31 countries. They were asked if they had symptoms of the three conditions and about their weekly diet – including the types of foods they ate over the last year, and how often.
Researchers saw a protective effect against severe asthma for those who ate fruit at least three times a week. Those consuming fast food three or more times a week had about a 30% increased risk of severe asthma, hay fever and eczema, a chronic skin condition that causes scaly, itchy rashes. The results were consistent in both age groups. Affluence and gender did not change or affect the outcome.
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