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Fast Food Linked to Asthma

We know how much salt can contribute to a worsening of asthma, especially to those prone to attacks while exercising. So, it should come as no surprise a diet filled with trans-fatty junk food increases a child's risk of asthma, according to a new study.

Researchers studied the diets of some 1,300 Kiwi kids between ages 10-12 participating in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, comparing the health of kids who ate hamburgers one or more times a week versus those who didn't. The numbers may not completely surprise you:

  • Children who ate at least one hamburger a week were 75 percent more likely to have asthma and 100 percent more prone to wheezing.
  • Kids who ate burgers more than once a week doubled their odds of having an asthma attack and wheezing.

The damage doesn't stop merely at eating hamburgers either. Other fast foods, in addition to sugary sweet soft drinks, also increased a child's asthma risk.

The best way to cut down on your child's salt intake is probably the easiest, safest and best thing you can do: Eliminate processed foods and limit how often you take your kids out to dinner.

Cutting out those afterschool detours to their favorite fast-food restaurant not only will help them breathe better, you'll be reducing their risks of obesity and diabetes.

Allergy, Vol. 60, No. 12, December 2005: 1537

Foodconsumer.org November 8, 2005

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