Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced asthma and rhinitis in Mexican children

Allergy. 2008 Oct;63(10):1310-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01722.x.


Background: Diet during pregnancy and childhood has been suggested to play an important role in children's asthma risk. We assessed whether the adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern, for children in the last 12 months and their mothers during pregnancy, was associated with both childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2004 using a random sample of 1476 children (6- to 7-year old) from the Mexicali region, Mexico. Dietary data of children's intake in the last 12 months and their mothers' intake during pregnancy was collected, through a parental food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was computed [Trichopoulou et al., N Engl J Med 348 (2003), 2599]. Data on seven asthma and rhinitis-related outcomes were obtained from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire.

Results: Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern was inversely associated with asthma ever (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.40-0.91), wheezing ever (0.64, 0.47-0.87), rhinitis ever (0.41, 0.22-0.77), sneezing ever (0.79, 0.59-1.07), current sneezing (0.71, 0.52-0.96) and current itchy-watery eyes (0.63, 0.42-0.95). No associations were found using the mothers' pregnancy diet score, except for current sneezing (0.71, 0.53-0.97).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest a protective effect of following a healthy dietary pattern on asthma and allergic rhinitis in Mexican children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / epidemiology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / prevention & control