15 Jan 2013

Child study shows fast food link to severe reactions

3:08 pm on 15 January 2013

A study of children across the world has found a strong link between those who frequently eat fast food and more severe allergic reactions to diseases such as asthma and eczema.

Researchers at the University of Auckland took part in the study, which included data from 500,000 children in 51 countries.

The study showed that those who ate more than three servings of foods like burgers, fries and pizzas a week were more prone to wheezing, runny noses, watery eyes and itchy skin which are symptoms of diseases such as asthma, conjunctivitis and eczema.

Children who ate three or more portions of fruit a week had a reduced risk of severe eczema and conjunctivitis, it showed.

One of the study's authors, Innes Asher from Auckland University, says the results do not prove cause-and-effect.

However, Professor Asher hopes the study will help convince people that fast food should only be eaten in moderation.