Diet influences childhood asthma risk

August 29, 2000 in Allergies & Intolerances, Healthy Eating, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers

Diet influences childhood asthma risk

A recent study revealed that eating at fast food outlets and having a diet particularly low in milk and vegetables are among factors that increase the risk of "wheezy illness" in children. Researchers from the Aberdeen University Medical School in Scotland and colleagues in Saudi Arabia surveyed and gave skin prick tests to 114 children with a history of asthma and wheeze in the previous 12 months, and 202 controls.

Their findings showed that a family history of asthma, a positive skin test result and a history of eating at fast food outlets were significant risk factors for wheezy illness. This was also true of the lowest intakes of milk, vegetables, dietary fibre, and certain nutrients, including vitamin E and calcium.

The researchers concluded that diet in childhood is "an important influence in determining the expression of wheezy illness," and that a change in diet may have "been a determinant of the worldwide increases in asthma and allergies."

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