Researchers from Germany, Spain and Britain who studied data on 50,000 children across the world found the link between burgers and asthma was strongest in rich nations where diets with high levels of junk food are more common.
A meat-heavy diet itself has no bearing on the prevalence of asthma, according to the scientists who conducted the study. Yet, frequent burger eating could be a signal for other lifestyle factors which raise asthma risk.
Researchers note the link may have more to do with the lifestyle and environmental factors that come with eating frequent burgers, rather than the food itself.
Researchers looked at data on 50,000 children aged between 8 and 12 years from 20 rich and poor countries around the world.
While diet was not linked to children being more prone to allergies in general, it did seem to influence the prevalence of asthma and wheezing, they found.
Researchers found that overall, more frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables and fish was associated with a lower lifetime prevalence of asthma, whereas high burger consumption was associated with higher lifetime asthma prevalence.
The findings were published in the journal Thorax.
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