Asthma linked to fast food AND food additives

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Asthma researchers say that a massive international study has confirmed what we have been saying for years: that increasing rates of asthma are linked to food. But they don't know which components of the Western diet are to blame.

In our experience, food additives are the major problem and this is backed by science. A smaller number are affected by natural food chemicals such as salicylates or foods such as dairy.

Our database contains 150 compelling reports from failsafers whose asthma symptoms - from mild to severe - have improved on a low chemical elimination diet.

The international study covered 319,000 13 to 14-year-olds from 51 countries and 181,000 six to seven-year-olds from 31 countries. Researchers found that young teenagers, in particular, are nearly 40 per cent more likely to have severe asthma if they eat burgers and other types of fast food more than three times a week.

Their study could have ''major public health significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally'' if the link turns out to be causal. The paper said the link between fast food and asthma and allergies could be related to higher saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar or preservatives.

Reader reports

[1080] Additive-induced asthma – from 20 puffs of Ventolin a day to none (December 2011)

I suffered terribly from additive-induced asthma from the age of 10 (I'm now 37). It took a couple of decades to realise that artificial food additives were THE cause of my condition, thanks mainly to your website. Over 23 years, not a single doctor ever once asked if my condition might be due to food ... - from story 524 and update 1080

[997] Asthma: hospital admissions - from one per week to one per year (March 2011)

First, I have to thank you for the work you have done. It is just over 3 years since I first picked up a copy of Fed Up with Asthma after my then 16 month old son was diagnosed. The medication did not seem to be working as it should, and I knew there was something else going on. He has major difficulties with sulphites, MSG and flavour enhancers (and natural glutamates) and benzoates (although we still avoid all preservatives and artificial colours because we are used to it now!), and after seeing an allergist and finding a nut allergy as well, all the pieces fit together. He is now a happy and healthy little boy about to start pre-school, whose nut allergies have been decreasing over the last two years - in fact his peanut allergy is totally gone - and has gone from one hospital admission a week to one every 8-12 months. We truly thank you, because it was your book that put us on the right track. Clare, NSW

[338] - able to give up all asthma medications

* We gave up 282 preservatives in bread after reading your book 'Fed up' about two years ago – within a week my wife was free of urinary incontinence and over a period of about three months I was able to give up all asthma medications. – readers aged 60 and 56

More information

See 49 pages of success stories about asthma

Asthma factsheet

Dangers of dried fruit

Introduction to food intolerance

Ellwood P et al, Do fast foods cause asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Global findings from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three, Thorax http://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2013/01/03/thoraxjnl-2012-202285

Read Amy Corderoy's article in The Age 16/1/2013: http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/asthma-link-in-eating-fast-food-20130115-2crle.html#ixzz2I5fbKMT5

by Sue Dengate Jan 2013