Weather changes aren't the only factors that can cause you to start sniffling--Today.com reports that your favorite fast food meal may also be a likely suspect.

The massive study first published in the journal Thorax involved 400,000 children ages six to seven and 13 to 14 from Europe, Africa, North and South Americas, and Asia. Participants were initially shown a video of what an asthma attack is and were asked whether they had any recent asthma attacks, rhinoconjunctivitis, or itchy skin rashes related to eczema. Their recent meals were also taken into account.

From the results, researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the Centre for Evidence Based Dermatology at Britain’s University of Nottingham found that teens who ate the most fast food on a weekly basis had a 39 percent chance of contracting severe asthma, while younger children who love their burgers and fries had a 27 percent chance of suffering from the said condition.

On the other hand, those who ate fruits on a regular basis had lower asthma risk. In fact, kids who consumed three or more servings of fruit in a week were 11 to 14 percent less likely to contract the condition.

Although only a relationship between fast food meals and allergies have been found and strong cause-and-effect is yet to be proven, researchers Innes Asher and Hywel Williams say that there is indeed a plausible link based on biological factors. Also, consuming too much linoleic acid, an omega-6 acid found in vegetable oil commonly used in processed foods, can also displace the omega-3 fatty acid, which is important in maintaining a strong immune system.

This is not to stop people from eating from fast food joints. As with everything else, moderation is key. As much as possible, try consuming healthier options, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and whole grain. Not only are they good for you, but they're also more satisfying than a quick-fix meal.

(Photo by Michael via Flickr Creative Commons)

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