But the burger finding could be a marker for other lifestyle factors that could boost a child's for asthma, the researchers note. Meat in general was not seen to increase the risk of wheeze, the study found.
Pulmonologist Dr. Michael Light, a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, agreed that diet can influence asthma.
"The data is fairly consistent that antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids play a role in the big picture," Light said. "This doesn't mean if you change your diet today you are going to cure your asthma. All the study is saying is that one of the explanations for asthma is probably related to diet," he said.
Echoing these findings, results of a study presented May 16 at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in New Orleans showed that fatty meals were linked to impaired lung function.
In that study, Australian researchers tested people with asthma before and after a high-fat meal or after a low-fat meal. They found that the high-fat meal increased inflammation and reduced lung function.
"If these results can be confirmed by further research, this suggests that strategies aimed at reducing dietary fat intake may be useful in managing asthma," the study's lead author, Lisa Wood, a lecturer in biomedical sciences and pharmacy at the Hunter Medical Research Institute in New Lambton, said at the time.
For more information on asthma, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Gabriele Nagel, M.D., Ph.D., Institute of Epidemiology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany; Michael Light, M.D., professor, medicine, Univ
All rights reserved