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Fast Foods and Pediatric Asthma, Rhinoconjunctivitis and Eczema

Researchers in New Zealand were curious whether fast food could increase or decrease the risk of developing asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis (itchy, watery eyes, with sneezing and nasal itching) and eczema (inflammatory reaction of the skin) for children and adolescents.

By looking at the prevalence of these three conditions in comparison with types and frequencies of food intake over a 12-month period, the study authors discovered two things of significance for public health policies:

1. Eating at least three servings per week of fruit had a protective effect on severe asthma.

2. The risk of all three allergic conditions increased when fast food was consumed at least three times weekly.

These findings were consistent for children (aged 6–7) and teens (aged 13–14) and across genders, regions, and levels of affluence.

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