Fast Food Linked to Eczema, Asthma in Study

Fast food, which is often cited as a major factor in the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic, is now being associated with asthma and eczema, two allergy-based illnesses.  More on the study, which was published in the medical journal Thorax, from Yahoo! News:

The researchers found that, out of the 15 food types in the questionnaire, only fast food showed an association with asthma and eczema in both age groups regardless of gender and socio-economic status. Three or more servings a week was linked to a 39 percent increase in severe asthma among teens and a 27 percent increased risk among younger children.

“A consistent pattern for the adolescent group was found for the relationship between symptoms and fast foods,” the researchers wrote in the study. “As adolescents are generally known to be high consumers of fast food, these results that show a significant increased risk of developing each or all three conditions may be a genuine finding.”

Though both eczema and asthma can be triggered by food allergies—and typical fast-food meals are filled with common allergens like gluten, dairy, egg, and soy—Williams told Yahoo! Shine that allergies probably aren’t the main issue here.

“We did not look for gluten, although bread and pasta both have gluten (however gluten free pasta and bread are now widely available so when someone says yes to eating bread 3x per week it may well be that they ate gluten free as this practice is growing in some countries). So we cannot tease this out,” he wrote in an email. “There is no doubt that food allergy plays an important role in some people with severe asthma and eczema, but those people tend to recognize it and avoid those foods.”

“I doubt if our observation of an association between severe allergies and fast foods is mediated much by increased food allergens,” he added.

A 2011 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice suggested that additives in processed foods could also trigger an allergic reaction in some kids, but Williams and his team say that fat intake, not food allergies or additives, is probably the main culprit.

Image: French fries, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now
  1. by Greeter

    On January 25, 2013 at 7:15 am

    The Continued Reading of materials that contain “Junk Unsubstaniated Science” will cause the death of “Brain Cells”. Reading this articles and other that are published by the Government Sponsored Food Nazi’s will cause a person to become blind.

  2. by Train To Read

    On January 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Yet another reason to serve a home-cooked meal to our kids.

  3. by Pok

    On March 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

    What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re no longer really much more neatly-favored than you may be right now. You’re so intelligent. You know therefore significantly relating to this matter, produced me in my view imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. At all times maintain it up!

  4. by Is Fast Food OK for Kids? - Parents.com

    On June 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    [...] eating fast food is not the sole cause of current high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and [...]