Obesity isn’t the only potential toll that dinner from the drive-thru may have on your health.
It’s not just your waistline that may pay a price for eating fast-food meals three or more times a week, but your immune system as well. According to a study published in the journal Thorax, fast food-fare is linked to an increased risk of asthma, eczema, and rhinitis among kids and teens. The study also found that eating fruit could protect against these disorders among all age groups.
A group of European researchers analyzed data from participants in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, which included more than 319,000 teens ages 13 to 14 from over 50 countries, and more than 181,000 kids ages 6 to 7 from 31 countries.
Both the participants and their parents answered questions about how often and how severely they experienced symptoms of asthma, eczema, and rhinitis — like wheezing, runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. They were also asked about their diets, and how often they ate foods ranging from vegetables to fast food burgers.