Consuming three or more servings of fast food per week is linked to allergic asthma, eczema and rhinitis in children, respiratory journal Thorax says.
The findings are supported worldwide — the researchers studied data from more than 319,000 13- and 14-year-olds in 51 countries, and more than 181,000 6- and 7-year-olds in 31 countries. The young people and their parents were asked about their diets and if they had symptoms of asthma, runny noses, itchy eyes and eczema. The researchers found that the only food type that showed the same symptoms across both age groups — notwithstanding gender or wealth — was fast food.
The study’s authors say that a diet high in fast food contains high levels of saturated and trans fatty acids, which affect immunity. They note that the results do not indicate cause and effect but that they do warrant more investigation.