NBC News reported the findings are based on answers from questionnaires taken by 400,000 children, ages 6 to 7 or ages 13 to 14, who live in 51 countries.
They were asked about how many times per week they ate different kinds of foods, as well as whether they’d suffered from asthma attacks, eczema or rhinoconjunctivitis.
“What’s clear from this study is that fruits and vegetables turned up as protective factors and fast foods turned up as risk factors,” study researcher Gabriele Nagel, of the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry at Ulm University in Germany, told Bloomberg.
“Our study provides evidence toward giving dietary recommendations in order to prevent asthma and allergies in childhood.”
According to the Huffington Post, Bloomberg also pointed out that AstraZeneca Plc and GlaxoSmithKline provided funding for the study, as did a number of other research foundations.
The same researchers also found eating a “Mediterranean” diet, as well as consuming lots of fruits, vegetables and fish, were linked with a lower risk of wheezing and asthma in children ages 8 to 12.
These findings were revealed in a 2010 study also published in the journal Thorax.
In a separate, unrelated study that linked the consumption of saturated fats to receding sperm counts, researchers found that eating more grains, fruits and vegetables, reversed the damaging affects caused by saturated fats.
This evidence supports the claim by some nutritional experts that a healthy diet can not only help in preventing disease, but reverse the damage caused by disease.
Junk Food Linked to Alzheimer’s
Besides asthma, junk food has historically been linked to obesity and diabetes. But obesity and metabolic syndrome are also related to Alzheimer’s.
Many scientists now believe Alzheimer’s is caused largely by the brain’s impaired response to insulin. Insulin regulates storage of glycogen in the liver and accelerates oxidation of sugar in cells.
Researchers investigated the brains of 54 corpses, 28 of which belonged to people who had died of the disease.
“They found that the levels of both insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients were much lower than those in the brains of people who had died of other causes. Levels were lowest in the parts of the brain most affected by the disease.”
According to a 2010 study, individuals who eat fish, poultry, certain fruits, dark and green leafy vegetables, nuts, controlled dairy products, butter, and red meats had lower risks of having Alzheimer’s disease.