Study Finds Link Between Kids' Asthma, Fast Food

Eczema also associated with the meals: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2013 2:18 PM CST
New Risk of Fast Food: Kids' Asthma
Fast food may be a factor in asthma and allergies among kids.   (Shutterstock)

The threat from fast food may be growing larger. A new study of hundreds of thousands of kids and teens worldwide finds the stuff is associated with a higher risk of asthma, rhinitis, and eczema, Time reports. Fortunately, there's a simple path to some protection: Eat more fruit. Researchers in Europe surveyed more than 319,000 teens ages 13 to 14 across more than 50 countries, as well as more than 181,000 children ages six to seven.

Kids and their parents answered questions about their diets and their asthma, allergy, and eczema symptoms. The researchers found a 39% higher risk of severe asthma among teenagers who ate fast food three or more times per week; among the younger group, the risk was raised 27%. But three or more helpings of fruit cut severe asthma symptoms by 11% in teens and 14% in younger children. "This is the largest study to date on allergies in people around the world, and the findings are remarkably consistent when it comes to looking at specific regions of the world and within affluence and sex," says an author. (Read more fast food stories.)

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