Big Macs, Breastfeeding and Asthma

by DavalosMcCormack on February 10, 2009

Now, it’s not often you get the words Big Mac and breastfeeding in the same sentence. They typically don’t go together. Babies who are breastfeeding don’t often also like to munch down on a Big Mac. And you don’t often find breastfeeding mothers underneath the Golden Arches, though if you think about it the imagery would suggest a welcome to new mums.

But anyway, a new study suggests that eating fast food can undo some of the health benefits of breastfeeding, at least when it comes to reducing a kid’s risk of developing asthma.

The study, in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy, found that children who develop asthma were more likely to eat fast food, compared to kids who didn’t develop asthma.

So what does that have to do with breastfeeding? Well, breastfeeding has an amazing array of health benefits for children, among them is reducing the likelihood that they’ll subsequently go on to develop asthma.

This study suggests that kids who eat fast food more than twice a week, even if they were breastfed as infants, are much more likely to develop asthma than kids who were breastfed but don’t eat fast food very often. So, somehow the simple fact of eating crap is undoing some of the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Why is this a big deal? Because asthma is a really nasty disease to have. Not only is it potentially deadly but it is also incapacitating. It can stop a kid doing what kids do best, running around and having fun.

So, if you can reduce the risk of a kid having asthma simply by not feeding them fast food, why wouldn’t you?

But then that begs the question, if you could reduce your own risk of being overweight or obese by not eating fast food why wouldn’t you do that. And for millions of Americans the answer is…. silence.

That’s why next week we’re going to have a Healthy & Simple Special Report on fast food and obesity, and what some public health experts say we need to do to reduce the problem.  Stay tuned. You may never look at your burger and fries the same way ever again!

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