HYDERABAD: Parents should discourage their children from eating fast food meals as they contain large amounts of fat and carbohydrate which cause changes in brain structure, according to doctors.
Addressing a seminar at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, on Friday, child specialist and paediatrician Prof Dr Salma Shaikh said diets rich in junk food could be a reason behind the rapid increase of asthma and allergies in children. Pakistani children eat biscuits, drink colas and sweets instead of fresh fruits and dry fruits, she said. According to Dr Shaikh, thousands of children aged, between six to 14, were tested for asthma and allergies.
According to the results, 19 per cent of the children had asthma and 30 per cent had allergic rhinitis. She said that asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease and is one of the fastest growing ailments, with cases increasing up to 50 per cent every 10 years. A recent research indicated that processed foods like prepared frozen food, potato chips, sodas, crackers and other fast foods also lead to high blood pressure and diabetes, she added. She concluded that eating fibrous foods, like vegetables and fruits, is the best way to reduce weight and lead a healthy life.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2010.