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Study for Mediterranean diet

Women who follow the famous Mediterranean diet while pregnant may also be shielding their baby from childhood asthma and allergy, according to a study titled “Mediterranean Diet in pregnancy protective for wheeze and atopy in childhood,” published in the international journal of respiratory medicine Thorax, on January 15, 2008. Doctors recruited women on the island of Menorca, Spain, in 1997, and quizzed them at length about their dietary habits. Six years later, they examined the women’s children for asthma and wheezing. The study found that what had an impact on results was what their mothers had eaten while pregnant. The pregnant women were graded according to the Mediterranean diet score, measuring the intake of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, wholegrain cereals, legumes and nuts. Results showed that one third of the mothers-to-be received a low rating, while two-thirds had a high score. Children from the “low score” group were between three and four times likelier to develop asthmatic symptoms than counterparts from the “high score” group, and almost twice as likely to develop allergies.

The research was headed by Leda Chatzi, a doctor at the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Crete, Greece.

BBC News: Med diet ‘cuts baby asthma risk’