Some fast food has links to allergies

December 2, 2018

One of Americans’ favorite fast-food flavors is Chinese takeout. And that’s good, because (with some attention, so you eliminate sugar-added, deepfried options) it’s a lot easier to order nutritious dishes from Chinese restaurants than from McWhopper drive-thrus. So isn’t it ironic that these days in China it’s hard to avoid the destructive power of hamburger-driven fastfood joints?

A study funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Science and Technology Foundation of Chengdu Science and the Technology Foundation of Sichuan Province found that American-style fast food is linked to asthma and other allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis, severe eczema and severe rhinoconjunctivitis.

You might think that China’s air pollution is the real culprit when it comes to the 40 percent increase in that country’s asthma cases between 2007 and 2013. However, this new fast-food mega-study (13 cross-sectional and three case-control studies) reveals that what you put inside your body can be just as damaging to your respiratory health as the air you breathe.

Researchers identify the causes of inflammation leading to respiratory and allergic distress as the fast foods’ calorie-dense refined carbohydrates, sodium, sugar, cholesterol, additives such as preservatives and colorants, and high concentrations of saturated fat. Maybe both countries should ban trade in those fast foods — and promote mutual enjoyment of bok choy, sauteed green beans and fish with black bean sauce. Then everyone will pay a lower health tariff.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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