Children who eat a Mediterranean diet are less prone to asthma
Children who eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish have a lower risk of asthma and wheezing, but eating three or more burgers a week can increase the risk, scientists have concluded.
Researchers from Germany, Spain and London examined data from 50,000 children aged eight to 12, from 20 different countries, collected between 1995 and 2005.
Parents were asked about their children's usual diet and whether they had ever been diagnosed with asthma or suffered wheezing.
Almost 30,000 children were given a skin-prick test to see if diet directly affected their chances of developing common allergies. The experts found diet did not increase the risk of allergies to grass and tree pollen but did have an effect on asthma and wheeze.
Overall, children who ate a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish had a lower chance of developing asthma or wheeze over their lifetime.
Eating three or more burgers a week was linked to a higher risk of asthma and wheeze but a diet that was generally high in meat did not increase the risk.
The authors, writing in the journal Thorax, 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."
They said carotenoids – contained in fruit and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots – and vitamins C and E also have a positive effect on lung function.
The authors concluded that "adherence to a Mediterranean diet may provide protection against wheeze and asthma in childhood".
Life & Style blogs
International Kissing Day: Why it feels good
World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Kristen Stewart opens star-studded Chanel show with Julianne Moore, Rita Ora and Lily Collins on the runway
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...