Fresh fruit cuts risk of asthma in children, study finds

Children who eat fruit regularly are less likely to suffer from asthma and other allergic conditions, a new international study has concluded.

healthy eating - image:Morguefile
healthy eating - image:Morguefile

The research team, based in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Germany and the UK, found that eating three or more portions of fruit a week appeared to lower the risk of children developing severe asthma, eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis by between 11 and 14 per cent.

The findings, based on surveys of 6-7-year-old and 13-14-year-old children in over 50 countries, also revealed that children who ate fast food three or more times a week were more likely to develop severe forms of the three conditions.

Asthma UK research analyst Malayka Rahman said: "Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma, therefore Asthma UK advises people with asthma to eat a healthy, balanced diet including five portions of fruit or vegetables every day."

The researchers claim the findings "have major public health significance". They are published this week in the journal Thorax, which is co-owned by the British Thoracic Society and the BMJ (British Medical Journal) Group.


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