Increasing Prevalence of Asthma and Allergy Might Be Related to Diet

An international study was undertaken to assess the association between dietary factors, asthma and allergy. Between 1995 and 2005, cross-sectional studies were performed in 29 centers in 20 countries. Parental questionnaires were used to collect information on allergic diseases and exposure factors and data from randomly selected schoolchildren were analyzed. Results indicate that fruit intake is associated with a low prevalence of current wheeze in affluent and non-affluent countries. Consumption of fish in affluent countries and of cooked green vegetables in non-affluent countries was associated with a lower prevalence of current wheeze. Overall, more frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables and fish was associated with a lower lifetime prevalence of asthma, whereas high burger consumption was associated with higher lifetime asthma prevalence. Published in the journal Thorax, the study’s researchers concluded that diet is associated with wheeze and asthma but not with allergic sensitization in children. These results provide further evidence that adherence to a high fiber and low fat diet may provide some protection against wheeze and asthma in childhood. For access to the abstract, please click here.