Your kids’ fast food habit could put them at a higher risk for asthma, says a new study that linked a weekly consumption of three or more burgers with risk of asthma and wheezing.
Interestingly, it’s not the meat itself that’s the problem, say researchers. Instead, eating three or more burgers a week is associated with other lifestyle factors — too much junk food and a lack of exercise — that put kids at risk of developing the respiratory disorder.
Information on 50,000 kids between the ages of eight and 12 from a mix of wealthy and poor nations was reviewed by researchers in three different countries for the study. What they found was that the link between between high burger consumption and asthma was highest among kids from wealthy nations — wealthy nations with lots of fast food restaurants on every corner.
On the flip side, though, researchers also discovered a link between diet and a lowered risk of asthma. Kids who ate lots of fruit and fish were less likely to develop the disease. From Yahoo! News:
She added, however, that there were “biologically plausible” links for the positive effects of a healthier diet, which could be down to the antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables, and the omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
“Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and other biologically active factors which may contribute to the favorable effect…in asthma,” Nagel said.
In particular, she added, foods rich in vitamin C have been linked to better lung function and fewer asthma symptoms.
Around 10 million kids in the United States have asthma today, and it is now the most common chronic childhood disease. While burgers — especially those of the fast food variety — contribute to obesity, which puts kids at risk of asthma, there’s also the theory that certain foods create an “anti-inflammatory” effect. Fruit and fish, as well as nuts, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains keep chronic diseases at bay, while at the same time helping kids and adults maintain their weight.