Fast Food, Air Pollution and Asthma

January 22nd, 2013

By now most of us know that the quality of air we breathe (or lack thereof) has an impact on a child’s asthma, but now studies are showing that fast food consumption is linked to asthma as well.

Researchers studied more than 500,000 kids in 50-plus countries and say they see a clear link between fast food and severe asthma, hay fever and eczema.

“Asthma, eczema and hay fever are all results of the body’s immune system over reacting to things it should ignore,” said Dr. John Sweet, an immunologist with Fairview Lakes Medical Center.

The good news? Eating three servings of fruit and veggies a day can cut down on the negative impact of eating fast food (thanks to the anti-oxidants).

This news thus makes me wonder if those three servings of earthy foods can also help minimize the negative impacts of breathing bad air? The primary problem with breathing polluted air is the inflammatory response this bad air triggers in our bodies — and inflammation can be tamed by anti-oxidants.

Furthermore, could that mean that skipping fast food on bad air days AND eating three servings of fruits and veggies gives little bodies a little extra protection? And if this is true for little bodies is it also true for big bodies?

Finally, I find myself asking, is it extra wise then to skip fast food on bad air days (obviously, it is wise to skip fast food period, but most of us have resorted to a drive-thru now and then) AND offer your loved ones extra fruits and veggies high in anti-oxidants?

All good questions, worth pondering — especially as we all squirm uncomfortably within our current dirty air bubble.

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