Just in case you you need another reason to lay off the junk food, now it is being linked to asthma in children.
Scientists say they believe the high saturated fat levels found in junk food and fast food lower children’s immune systems. Consuming it several times a week increases kids' risk of developing asthma and eczema in a new international study.
Researchers from New Zealand’s Auckland University looked at the diets of 181,000 youngsters aged six to seven and 319,000 aged 13-14.
The research project involved more than 50 countries and found that teenagers who ate food such as cheeseburgers three times a week or more, had 39 percent more chance to get severe asthma. Younger children were 27 percent more at risk.
The simultaneous increase in childhood obesity and asthma has prompted some experts to ask if the conditions could be linked.
While the study couldn't prove that fast food causes asthma and eczema, the research notes that both illnesses are sometimes associated with overreactions of the immune system and that trans fatty acids may be involved in those reactions.
Eating three or more weekly servings of fruit had the opposite effect of consuming fast food, researchers found.
One researcher, Gabriele Nagel says, "What’s clear from this study as that fruits and vegetables turned up as protective factors, and fast foods turned up as risk factors. Our study provides evidence toward giving dietary recommendations in order to prevent asthma and allergies in childhood."