The right diet can make children less prone to asthma

Monday 7th June, 2010

Eating fatty foods such as burgers three times a week can increase the risk of children developing asthma and wheezing, according to scientists.

However, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish (known as a Mediterranean diet) can lower the risk. The findings come after researchers in Germany, Spain and London studied data collected from 20 countries between 1995 and 2005 of 50,000 children between the ages of 8-12 years-old.

Parents were questioned on their child’s eating habits and diet and if a diagnosis of asthma had ever been given. Nearly 30,000 children were given skin-prick tests to determine if their diet triggered common allergies.

Results from the study revealed there was no increase in risk of allergies to grass and tree pollen however there was an effect on asthma and wheezing problems. Those children fed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing breathing disorders over their lifetime.

Writing in the medical journal Thorax, authors said:

“Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and other biologically active factors which may contribute to the favourable effect of fruit consumption in asthma.

“In particular, foods rich in vitamin C have been reported to relate to better lung function and fewer asthma symptoms.”

Carotenoids, which are found in carrots and sweet potatoes, were also found to have a positive effect on lung function.



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