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Salty snacks affect children with asthma

ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- What a child eats may affect asthma symptoms, Greek nutrition experts confirm.

Study leader Demosthenes Panagiotakos of Harokopio University in Athens and Dr. Kostas Priftis of the University of Athens found a 4.8 times higher risk of having asthma symptoms when children ate salty snacks more than three times a week.

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This association, the researchers said, was even more prominent in children who watched TV or played video games more than 2 hours per day.

"Future interventions and public health messages should be focused on changing these behaviors from the early stages of life, by informing parents, guardians, teachers and any other person that could teach children a healthier lifestyle," Panagiotakos and Priftis say in a statement.

The same study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, confirmed children eating a Mediterranean diet were less likely to have asthma symptoms.

The researchers describe the antioxidant rich Mediterranean diet as one high in vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and olive oil.

Panagiotakos, Priftis and colleagues used data from a cross-sectional study of 700 children -- ages 10-12 -- in the Athens area.

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