Reuters (reuters.com) -by Kerry Grens
Friday, August 09, 2013
Babies who ate more fruits and vegetables and fewer packaged foods were less likely to develop food allergies in a new study that looked at overall diet patterns instead of just specific foods.
“We have been aware that certain diets seem to reduce the risk of allergy in infants,” said Dr. Magnus Wickman, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who was not involved in the study. “The mechanism behind that is that we think that different kinds of fatty acids and antioxidants, different kinds of vitamins and essential minerals are good for your health and also prevent allergy,” he said.
Researchers estimate that up to eight percent of children have a food allergy. Parents are sometimes advised to avoid certain foods as a means of preventing food allergies from starting. But Kate Grimshaw, lead author of the new study and a researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK, said she’s been concerned that parents are reducing the nutritional diversity of their infants’ diet without there being a great deal of evidence to back it up.
To see how parents are feeding their infants, and whether that appears to have any influence on food allergies, Grimshaw and her colleagues collected food diaries from the parents of 1,140 babies.