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Fast-food & asthma; berries and the heart...

Two articles caught my attention in the Feb 1st, 2013 edition of THE WEEK magazine.
1. The link between asthma and fast-food in kids and teens:  A new study of 500,000 kids in 51 countries showed a strong link between the frequency of eating fast-food and the development of asthma.  For 6 & 7 yr olds who ate fast food 3x a week, their likelihood of developing  severe asthma was increased by 30%.
For 13 & 14yr olds, the risk went up to 40%.  The scientists speculate that the reason for this is the type of fats used in fast food.  Those vegetable fats (soy, corn, etc) are known to interfere with the immune system, making them more sensitive to allergens.  These same children also were more likely to have other allergies, like hay fever and eczema.
2. Eating berries may be a simple way to reduce the risk of heart disease.  A 20yr study of more than 90,000 women found that those who ate 3 servings of blueberries and strawberries per week were more than 30% less likely to have a heart attack in that time than those who only ate one serving a month.  (similar studies have been done on men but this is the largest to date)  The family of anti-oxidants in dark purple and red things (which includes eggplant and cherries and all purple & red berries), called "anthocyanins" are compounds that reduce inflammation so they help keep arteries healthy and flexible.  Flexible arteries are less likely to build up plaque that leads to heart disease.   (Congrats to the JuicePlus+ vineyard users! Similar results were found in Vineyard studies on flexibility of arteries.)
These studies are remarkable because they have studied huge populations for many years. 
Dietary change is so much less expensive than treating asthma and/or heart disease!
mary anne