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Open AccessArticle

Dietary Habits in Children with Respiratory Allergies: A Single-Center Polish Pilot Study

1
Department of Pulmonology and Allergology, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki str 7, 90-211 Gdańsk, Germany
2
Department of Clinical Nutrition, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki str 7, 90-211 Gdańsk, Germany
3
Department of Food Commodity Science, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki str 7, 90-211 Gdańsk, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051521
Received: 13 May 2020 / Revised: 19 May 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Obesity and Nutrition Promotion Intervention)
Background: The rising trend in allergic diseases has developed in parallel with the increasing prevalence of obesity, suggesting a possible association. The links between eating habits and allergies have not been sufficiently clarified. Aim: To evaluate the nutritional status, eating habits, and risk factors of obesity and pulmonary function in children with allergic rhinitis. Materials and methods: We evaluated 106 children with allergic rhinitis (mean age 12.1 ± 3.4 years; M/F 60/46) from the Department of Allergology. Clinical data were collected regarding allergies, physical activity, nutritional status (Bodystat), dietary habits (Food Frequency Questionnaire validated for the Polish population), skin prick test with aeroallergens (Allergopharma), and spirometry (Jaeger). Results: All children suffered from allergic rhinitis; among them, 43 (40.6%) presented symptoms of asthma. There were differences between children with only allergic rhinitis (AR group) and children with both rhinitis and asthma (AA group) in pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 100 ± 11 vs. 92.1 ± 15.0; p < 0.05). A total of 84 children (79%) presented a normal body mass index (BMI) (10–97 percentile), 8 (7.5%) were underweight, and 14 (13.5%) were overweight or obese. There were no differences in body composition between the AR and AA groups. Incorrect eating habits were demonstrated by most of the children, e.g., consumption of three or fewer meals in a day (38%), sweets every day (44%), snacking between meals every day (80%), and eating meals less than 1 h before bedtime (47%). Compared to the AR group, the AA group was more likely to eat more meals a day (p = 0.04), snack more often (p = 0.04), and eat before sleeping (p = 0.005). Multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between high BMI and snacking between meals and low physical activity (adjusted R2 = 0.97; p < 0.05). Conclusions: The risk factors for obesity in children with allergies include snacking and low physical activity. Most children with respiratory allergies, especially those with asthma, reported incorrect eating habits such as snacking and eating before bedtime. A correlation between pulmonary function and body composition or dietary habits was not found. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutritional status; obesity; dietary habits; allergy; pulmonary function; allergic rhinitis; asthma nutritional status; obesity; dietary habits; allergy; pulmonary function; allergic rhinitis; asthma
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Wasilewska, E.; Małgorzewicz, S.; Gruchała-Niedoszytko, M.; Skotnicka, M.; Jassem, E. Dietary Habits in Children with Respiratory Allergies: A Single-Center Polish Pilot Study. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1521.

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