Study finds burgers up risk of childhood asthma

June 8, 2010 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Study finds burgers up risk of childhood asthma
Children who eat three or more burgers on a weekly basis have a greater chance of suffering from asthma and wheezing than those who don't, but a healthy diet rich in fruit and fish seems to stave off the risk, according to a large international study.

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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