Childhood food allergies may be caused by eating too much junk food.
A study suggests that diets rich in sugar and fat are fuelling an epidemic of allergies.
Children with allergies were found to have much higher levels of harmful molecules in their tissues.
Called AGEs – advanced glycation end products – they enter the body through food, particularly processed products such as burgers, bacon, pizzas and cakes.
Children with allergies were found to have higher levels of harmful molecules in a study by scientists from the University of Naples. Stock picture
Scientists at the University of Naples examined a group of 61 children aged between six and 12, of whom 23 had food allergies.
They found that the children with allergies had significantly higher levels of AGEs – as did children who ate lots of junk food.
The conclusion of the project was that ‘junk food could be responsible for the food allergy epidemic’.
Research had already shown that food allergies are more common among children in areas where processed meals are popular.
The harmful molecules, advanced glycation end products, enter the body through processed food such as burgers, bacon, pizzas and cakes. Stock picture
The authors of the study, which was presented at the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, said it proved the need to promote healthy diets.
The UK has one of the highest allergy rates in the world, affecting more than one in five.