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Burger link to asthma

Thursday June 3rd, 2010

Children who eat too many burgers may be placed at risk of developing asthma, researchers warned today.

A major new study links asthma prevention to a "healthy" diet, rich in fruit, vegetables and fish.

Children who are fed three burgers a week face a 40 per cent increased risk of developing asthma, researchers found.

But eating fruit, vegetables and fish each reduced risk by about ten per cent, according to an international study of some 50,000 children.

The study, reported in the journal Thorax, found that burgers, rather than meat, were linked to asthma development.

Although diet is known to aggravate some kinds of asthma, it is also possible that burger eating indicates unhealthy lifestyles - with children putting on weight and not getting exercise.

Children from 20 countries were studied over a ten year period.

The researchers found no link between diet and the development of common allergies, such as hay fever caused by pollen.

Researcher Dr Gabriele Nagel, of Ulm University, Ulm, Germany, writes: "Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidant vitamins and biologically active agents, while the omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish have anti-inflammatory properties, so there are biologically plausible links for the findings."

Thorax 2010; 65: 516-22

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Diet & Food | Europe

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