Allergies and Asthma Linked to Diet
Researchers from The Netherlands’ Erasmus University Generation R Study Group have determined that a western diet significantly increases the incidence of allergies, asthma and respiratory tract infections among children.
The study utilized examinations of 2,173 Dutch children who were four years old or younger. The children’s dietary patterns, together with their relative incidence of either wheeze, shortness of breath and respiratory infections.
They found that a Western diet increased the incidence of frequent wheeze by nearly 39%. A western diet increased the incidence shortness of breath by 44%. And a western diet increased the incidence of respiratory tract infections by a whopping 54%.
Scientists define the “Western diet” as one consisting of significant amounts of processed and sugary foods, animal-based proteins, and fried foods, while being low in fiber and plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables).
The researchers concluded that, “A “Western” diet may increase the risk of frequent respiratory symptoms at 3 and 4 years of age. “
The Generation R Study Group of The Netherlands has been investigating childhood ailments for over the past five years. Their other studies have included fever and febrile seizures, infant neural development, thyroid conditions among children and many others. This most recent study was published in the European Respiratory Journal – the journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology.
Dr. Ilse Tromp led the study. Last year, Dr. Tromp led another study that found among 7,000 children that holding off from cow’s milk, nuts or other solid foods in healthy infants is not linked to allergic wheezing or skin allergies, as has been supposed by many health practitioners for many years.
Tromp II, Kiefte-de Jong JC, de Vries JH, Jaddoe VW, Raat H, Hofman A, de Jongste JC, Moll HA. Dietary patterns and respiratory symptoms in pre-school children: The Generation R Study. Eur Respir J. 2012 Feb 23.
Tromp II, Kiefte-de Jong JC, Lebon A, Renders CM, Jaddoe VW, Hofman A, de Jongste JC, Moll HA. The introduction of allergenic foods and the development of reported wheezing and eczema in childhood: the Generation R study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Oct;165(10):933-8.