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More research needed on diet and environmental influences on childhood asthma
Date:1/23/2011

to increase the intake of nutrients highlighted by birth cohorts (vitamin E, PUFA, vitamin D, zinc) in order to capture the complexity of dietary nutrient intake. If shown to be efficacious, such a dietary intervention could be the basis for a low cost, safe public health intervention to rapidly reduce the prevalence of asthma in children and ultimately adults, with obvious beneficial consequences for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole. Until the results of ongoing and planned trials are available, the practical consequences of research linking diet with asthma are minimal, and based on the available evidence, people with asthma, pregnant women, parents, and children should not be advised to change or supplement their diet in order to treat or reduce the risk of developing asthma."

In a study published in the same issue a multi-institutional team of researchers in Greece examined associations between salty snack consumption and TV or video game viewing and asthma symptoms in young adolescents. While noting that although both factors have been implicated in asthma development, results have been conflicting. In their cross-sectional study of 700 children 10-12 years old, living in and around Athens, Greece, they found that there was a 4.8 times higher risk of having asthma symptoms when salty snacks were consumed more than 3 times per week. This association was even more prominent in children who watch TV or play video games more than 2 hours per day.

The authors also found that children who consumed a "Mediterranean diet" were less likely to have asthma symptoms, consistent with previous studies evaluating the association between the Mediterranean diet and asthma in children. The Mediterranean diet has a high content of vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals and olive oil, with a high intake of beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and various important protective substances like selenium, flavonoids and polyphenols with marked antioxidant act
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Contact: Nancy Burns
adajmedia@elsevier.com
314-447-8013
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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