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Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
February 2013

Fast Food Consumption Linked to Asthma, Allergies and Eczema

A recent study suggests that children who eat fast food frequently may have a higher chance of developing asthma or allergies

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease. The air passages within the lungs are constantly swollen, restricting the amount of air allowed to pass through the trachea. Asthmatics have recurrent breathing problems and a tendency to cough and wheeze.

An allergy occurs when the body's immune system identifies something, such as food or drugs, as a foreign substance. The immune cells then overreact and cause symptoms that may affect many parts of the body, such as the nose, throat and skin. The severity of allergy symptoms may vary depending on the sensitivity of the patient.

In a new study, called the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, children and adolescents completed questionnaires about food intake and symptoms of asthma, allergies and eczema.

Data analysis showed that consuming fast food three times or more weekly was associated with severe asthma, severe allergies and severe eczema. Eczema occurs when the skin is abnormally sensitive to allergens, causing the skin to become red, flaky and itchy. Additionally, eating fruit three times or more weekly was associated with a lower risk of severe asthma.

Further research on this topic is warranted before a conclusion can be made.

For more information about asthma or allergies, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.

References

  1. Ellwood P, Asher MI, García-Marcos L et al. Do fast foods cause asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Global findings from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three. Thorax doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202285.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. www.naturalstandard.com
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