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Study Links Asthma & Fast Food - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Study Links Asthma & Fast Food

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In tonight's Healthier Me, a new study suggests kids who eat a lot of fast food have an increased risk of the most common chronic illness in children: asthma.


     It's the kind of food we grab because it's quick, and, frankly, kids ask for it... but now a new study of more than 500,000 kids in over 50 countries has linked fast food to severe asthma, hay fever, and eczema.

 

Dr. John Sweet, allergist: "It is an enormous survey... it is quite impressive and consistent with other surveys that have been done in the past several years."

 

The study, published in the journal Thorax,  said that kids who eat fast food three times or more a week had an approximately 30% higher risk of developing a severe form of the disease.

It's important to make clear that this study does not say that fast food causes asthma, eczema, or hay fever. However, it does suggest that it may worsen the severity of these conditions.

 

Dr. Sweet: "It was interesting that they found the same effects over many different countries. [...] Asthma, eczema, and hay fever are all results of the body's immune system overreacting to things it should ignore."

 

On the flip side, researchers saw a decrease in the severity of symptoms in kids who ate fruit at least three times a week, a benefit which Dr. Sweet attributes to the antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables: "It is believed [that] a decreased consumption of these antioxidants can affect the airway in some way, though it is not clearly understood at this time."

 

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