In another recently reported study, asthma patients who ate a high-fat, high-calorie meal consisting of burgers and hash browns had more inflammation in their airways than patients who ate a low-fat, low-calorie meal of yogurt.
The people who ate the high-fat meal also showed less improvement in lung function when treated with the asthma drug albuterol. The study was reported May 16 in New Orleans at an international conference hosted by American Thoracic Society.
American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Norman Edelman, MD, says the high-fat diet-asthma link remains to be proven, but it is clear that obesity increases asthma risk.
"It is hard to understand why burgers were associated with asthma risk in this study and not meat consumption in general," he tells WebMD. "But if three or more hamburgers meant these kids were likely to weigh more that could certainly explain the association."
Edelman added that the protective benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet are easier to understand.
"There is some evidence that antioxidants like those found in fruits and leafy-green vegetables are good for lung health and protective against asthma," he says.