Take It Slow with Fast Foods

My iPad has an app called News360 that covers news from multiple global sources. In the health and wellness category, I found an interesting article about a study with children from around the world that was published in the January 14, 2013 online issue of Thorax.

The study was centered around children with asthma and allergies. They interviewed more than 319,000 teens ages 13 and 14 from 51 countries, and more than 181,000 kids ages 6 and 7 from 31 countries.

One of the study questions centered on what the kids ate on a daily basis. It seems that they consumed fast foods an average of three times a week. “The study adds to a growing body of evidence of the possible harms of fast foods,” said study co-author Hywel Williams, a professor of dermato-epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, in England. “Whether the evidence we have found is strong enough to recommend a reduction of fast food intake for those with allergies is a matter of debate,” he added.

“These findings are important,” Williams said, “because this is the largest study to date on allergies in young people across the world and the findings are remarkably consistent globally for both boys and girls, regardless of family income. If true, the findings have big public health implications given that these allergic disorders appear to be on the increase and because fast food is so popular.” However, Williams cautioned that fast food might not be causing these problems. “It could be due to other factors linked to behavior that we have not measured, or it could be due to biases that occur in studies that measure disease and ask about previous food intake,” he continues.

From a different point of view, all you need to do is look at the children in the United States and you can see the results of our fast food nation. Obesity is on the rise. Cardiovascular meds are being given to children, and diabetes, the result of too much sugar in the diet, is also on the rise.

From the allergy and asthma perspective, fruit appeared to reduce the incidence and severity of these conditions for all the children, and for incidence and severity of wheeze and rhinitis among the teens.

According to Williams, three or more weekly servings of fruit reduced the severity of symptoms by 11 percent among the teens and 14 percent among the children. If you keep fruit in the house, especially if YOU eat some every day, it would influence your children. After all, on some level they do imitate us. The teaching in the Bible says, “The fruit does not fall far from the tree.”

Sadly, we are not getting healthier. We are getting sicker at younger ages. If you have children, I suggest you minimize the amount of fast food you and the children consume. I would also suggest you give yourself and the kids a good multi vitamin. Please do not feed them GUMMIES. This only trains them to like sweets, and we all know that sugar can lead to many health issues.

Here’s another perspective: “Eating fast food is not healthy for a multitude of reasons,” said Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. "It’s notorious for being high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fats and refined and processed carbohydrates, and low in essential healthy nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, healthy unsaturated fats and fiber,” she said. “I cannot imagine any parent would choose the convenience of fast food over their child’s health if they fully understood how deleterious a diet of fast and junk food is to children,” Heller added.

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