The World Health Organization reports that around 235 million people suffer from asthma and children lead the list. To make matters worse, the number is predicted to increase to 400 million by the year 2025.
Asthma is a global health threat, and reports indicate that 50% of children are more sensitive to one or more allergens. This respiratory epidemic has been rising over the last 50 years, and the unlikely cause is the change in diet.
If your child is suffering from allergies, then chances are that the culprit is your sweet tooth. In a study published in the European Respiratory Journal, women who consume sugary foods during pregnancy may increase the risk of their baby developing allergies.
According to the lead author of the study, Annabelle Bedard from the Queen Mary University of London, there has been a rise when it comes to the intake of free sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup over the last five decades. Free sugar is not found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and these include syrups, honey, sweeteners, and table sugar to name a few.
How the Study Was Conducted on Children’s Allergies
The researchers used data obtained from 9,000 mother and child pairs in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. This is a long-term and ongoing research study that tracks the health of families with children who were born between April 1991 and December 1992.
To investigate the connection between the diet of the mother and the allergies of their children, the researchers calculated the number of free sugars consumed by women during their pregnancy through questionnaires. The researchers then looked into the sugar consumption and the allergies of their children.
The Sugar-Allergy Relationship
The study shows that 62% of children in the study do not suffer from any allergies, but the rest suffered from common allergies (22%), eczema (16%), and asthma (12%). On the other hand, the researchers looked into the sugar consumption of moms during pregnancy.
Children from moms who had a high sugar intake have a 38% increased risk of developing allergies compared to those who are born from moms who consumed less sugar. The researchers calculated that kids from moms who consumed more sugar are also likely to suffer from two or more allergies such as asthma, hay fever, and eczema. For instance, the risk of allergic asthma increased by 101% for kids born from moms with high sugar consumption group versus the low sugar group.
Although there is a strong link, researchers emphasized that the results are inconclusive such that there are other factors that can lead children to suffer from allergies. Allergies are complex diseases that are associated with different factors such as genetic defects, pollutants, and many others.
In fact, senior lecturer in immunology at the University of Manchester, Sheena Cruickshank, noted that more studies should be carried out to determine the cause of the relationship between sugar consumption of mothers and the allergies of their children.
Inspired by www.cnn.com