Dear Dr. Walt,
A girlfriend says she’s heard that eating at fast-food restaurants can worsen allergies in kids. Since her family has cut back on the junk food, her kids’ allergies are better. Is there any science to back this up?
—Junk Food Eating Family in Mississippi
Dear Fast Food Aficionado,
After a long winter, parents all love watching their kids spring into spring. The budding trees and flowers, the fresh air, and … the sneezing and runny noses … they all go together “like a horse and carriage,” to coin Frank Sinatra’s famous lyric.
But, there’s nothing like an allergy, an attack of asthma, or a flare of eczema to ruin a perfectly good day. Allergies can take the spring out of your kids’ steps, but whether your kid will get worse or improve may indeed be decided by a burger and fries.
According to a large international study published in 2013, eating three or more fast food meals a week is linked to worsening severity of allergic asthma, eczema, and rhinitis among children.
On the other hand, fruits seem to protect kids from all three conditions, while eating three or more weekly portions of fruit was linked to a reduction in symptom severity.
So, based upon this research, I recommend to the parents of allergic kids to try a fast from fast food for a month or two.
A healthier diet may reduce hay fever and other allergies—but it definitely reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in kids as they become adults.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.