Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

August 10, 2018
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Fast food consumption linked to asthma, eczema

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Eating fast foods, particularly hamburgers, three or more times a week correlated to asthma in a dose-response pattern, according to a systematic review recently published in Respirology. 

“It has been hypothesized that the consumption of fast foods may exacerbate the development and progression of asthma and allergic diseases. However, the data available to date are heterogeneous,” Cheng S. Wang of the department of integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine at Sichuan University in China and colleagues wrote.

Researchers reviewed 16 studies published from 2001 to 2015 containing between 144 and 530,678 participants for their analysis. They found that eating fast foods was significantly related to:

  • current asthma (adjusted OR = 1.58; 95% CI, 1.17-2.13 for the case-control studies and aOR = 1.58; 95% CI: 1.1-2.26 for the cross-sectional studies);
  • asthma ever (aOR = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.06-1.75);
  • severe asthma (aOR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.23-1.46);
  • wheeze ever (aOR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.07-2.52);
  • current wheeze (aOR =1.21; 95% CI, 1.16-1.27);
  • physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis (OR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.05-1.95);
  • severe rhino-conjunctivitis (aOR = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.18-2); and
  • severe eczema (aOR = 1.51; 95% CI, 1.16-1.96).

Researchers also found that eating hamburgers was linked to:

  • current asthma (aOR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.13-2.25);
  • severe asthma (aOR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.23-1.46);
  • asthma ever (aOR = 1.47; 95% CI, 1.13-1.92);
  • severe rhino-conjunctivitis (aOR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.18-2);
  • rhino-conjunctivitis (aOR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.15-1.27); and
  • severe eczema (aOR = 1.51; 95% CI, 1.16-1.96).

“Our study, for the first time, has systematically assessed the relationship between the consumption of fast foods and asthma/wheeze and other allergic diseases,” Wang and colleagues wrote.

Fast food
Eating fast foods, particularly hamburgers, three or more times a week correlated to asthma in a dose-response pattern, according to a systematic review recently published in Respirology.
Photo source:Adobe

“Given the quality of studies included, further longitudinal cohort and intervention studies are needed to confirm these relationships and identify causal associations between the consumption of fast foods and asthma/wheeze and other allergic diseases, which could in some degree explain the increasing prevalence of these diseases and offer a potential intervention strategy,” they concluded. – by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine was unable to confirm the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.