Fast food children

by | Jan 16, 2013 | Family Health, Research | 2 comments

Look, we all need to eat better. Well most of us do, or at least could, if only we would. It seems obvious to say that eating healthy food will give you better health. But I feel like I need to keep delivering this message, regularly and in attention seeking ways, as I see and speak to people who continue hoeing into processed foods without regard for what it’s doing to their short, medium and long term health.

*spoiler alert* bad things! sh#tty food does bad things!

A report was published on Monday has been in the health news all this week. This new study has linked regular consumption of fast food (as in, processed take-away food) with increased incidence of severe allergic conditions in kids. Things like asthma and eczema.

The study involved more than 319,000 13 – 14 year olds (from 51 countries) and 181,000 six – seven year olds (from 31 countries, including Australia). What the researchers found, on examining these kids’ diets, was that those who ate three or more servings of fast food a week had an increased risk of severe asthma. A 39% increase for adolescents and 27% increase for children. They were also at greater risk of severe rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. Ouch.

Hey now but this is interesting: of the hundreds of thousands of kids surveyed, those that ate a minimum of three portions of fruit a week reduced their asthma symptom severity by 11% in the tweens and 14% in children. Even that small difference in basic nutrition made a dramatic difference in overall health!

Much like the study on early diet and IQ that I blogged about late last year, the outcome of this report doesn’t necessarily tell us that “fast food will cause allergy”, instead it provides an insight into correlation. Information such as this demonstrates that the way we feed our children can have significant and long-term impacts on their health.

So… seriously now. Stop eating crap and, most importantly, stop feeding it to your children. I’m sorry if that sounded harsh, but it’s a really important piece of advice that needs to be said many times over. Many times. That way it’s more easily remembered and, even better, more easily practiced.

So is veg. So are nuts. So. are. many. things.

So is veg. So are nuts. So. are. many. things.

Ref: Ellwood P et al. Thorax. (pub online 14 Jan) doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202285