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Childhood asthma risk increased in kids who eat hamburgers

By Lisa Angotti     Jun 7, 2010 in Health
Parents of children who love McDonalds and other fast food venues, be warned. Researchers have discovered that kids who eat at least three hamburgers a week are more likely to develop asthma than those who eat more fruits, vegetables and fish.
The study suggests that kids in developed countries who eat hamburgers often have other lifestyle factors that may increase their risk of these respiratory problems. Kids who simply eat a lot of meat are not at higher risk, researchers found.
However, those who eat a Mediterranean diet with fruits, vegetables and fish can actually reduce their risk of asthma and wheezing. The reason? These individuals are receiving protection and anti-inflammatory properties from antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids that healthier foods provide.
The findings were published in Thorax, the International Journal of Respiratory Medicine. (sign-up required)
The study was conducted over 10 years and analyzed the diet and allergies of 50,000 children in 20 countries. It was discovered that diet does not affect sensitivity to tree pollen and grass, but it can impact a child's likelihood to develop wheezing and asthma.
It's interesting also to note that children in rich countries received more protection against wheezing and asthma from fish, while children in poor countries benefited more from foods containing cooked green vegetables.
Mayo Clinic asthma and allergies specialist James T. Li, MD, suggests that there is no such thing as an asthma diet that can eliminate a person's symptoms; however some foods may trigger an allergic reaction resulting in an asthma attack. Parents with children who suffer asthma attacks should pay careful attention to what foods may trigger the attack and avoid them at all costs. Also, maintaining a healthy weight can lessen the chance a child will develop asthma.
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