April 25, 2013
By Betty Murray
Eating fast food may affect more than your waistline. According to a new study published in the British Medicine Journal’s respiratory journal Thorax, fast food may increase your risk of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever.
During the study, written questionnaires were given to 13 and 14-year-olds, and the parents of six and 7-year-olds. Participants were asked questions about their weekly diet and whether or not they experienced any symptoms of asthma, eczema or hay fever. The results of the questionnaire lead researchers to believe there is a link between allergies and fast food.
“We found clear associations between certain foods and severe asthma, hay fever (or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis) and eczema,” said study author Hywel Williams. Participants who stated they consumed fast food three or more times a week were about 30 percent more likely to have severe asthma, hay fever and eczema — age, affluence and gender did not affect the outcome.
In addition to the link between allergies and fast foods, researchers found that those who ate fruit at least three times a week were less likely to suffer from severe asthma.
Dr. Stephen Teach, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington told CNN he’s not surprised. “We’ve known for a while that diet can affect immune system function with certain foods being pro or anti-inflammatory,” he said.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease; foods that cause inflammation are likely to increase swelling and inflammation in the airways that causes difficulty breathing associated with asthma.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will certainly help protect against obesity, but a healthy diet results in better health overall. For a strong, healthy immune system, eat a nutritious diet rich in whole foods and organic fruits and vegetables. The fewer additives and preservatives in your food, the less likely you will be to experience common health problems, including asthma, hay fever and eczema.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.