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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030502

Respiratory Health Symptoms among Schoolchildren in Relation to Possible Food-Related Risk and Protective Factors

1
Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Johannesburg 2094, South Africa
3
School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [286 KB, uploaded 13 March 2018]

Abstract

Respiratory health outcomes are among the top five causes of child morbidity and mortality around the world. We aimed to investigate possible food-related risk and protective factors for respiratory health outcomes in children. Structured questionnaires completed by primary caregivers of 10-year old children were used to collect information on demographics, socio-economic status, house characteristics and child respiratory health status. Upper (URIs) and Lower (LRIs) respiratory illnesses comprised hay fever, and wheezing, asthma and bronchitis, respectively. Eight hundred questionnaires were distributed, 648 retrieved and 420 completed in full (52.5% response rate). The hay fever 6-month prevalence was 22.4% and wheezing had the highest 6-month prevalence among the LRIs (13.8%). The majority of children ate vegetables (75.5%), fruit (69.3%) and chicken or fish (81.7%) regularly. Nearly half of the children (45.5%) regularly ate processed food. Eating processed food regularly was statistical significantly associated with wheeze (Adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.65; 95% CI: 1.38–5.08), hay fever (OR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.09–2.64) and bronchitis (OR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.06–2.56). The study found an association between regular consumption of processed foods and wheeze, hay fever and bronchitis among 10 year old children. The regular consumption of processed food plays a role in adverse respiratory health effects among children and healthy eating is emphasized. View Full-Text
Keywords: respiratory health symptoms; children; risk factors; air pollution; South Africa respiratory health symptoms; children; risk factors; air pollution; South Africa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wright, C.Y.; Nkosi, V.; Wichmann, J. Respiratory Health Symptoms among Schoolchildren in Relation to Possible Food-Related Risk and Protective Factors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 502.

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