IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 3852: Diet and Food Allergy as Risk Factors for Asthma in the Arabian Gulf Region: Current Evidence and Future Research Needs (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease which is associated with higher levels of systemic inflammation. The causes of asthma remain poorly understood. Unhealthy diet and food allergy are potential risk factors for developing asthma. The prevalence of asthma in the Arabian Gulf region (AGR), and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular, is higher than in other Eastern Mediterranean countries. In the AGR, diets tend to be of low nutritional value due to high levels of total energy, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and saturated fat, and low levels of fiber, fruit and vegetables. A few studies that include children and adults in the AGR have suggested a potential link between unhealthy diets/specific food allergens and increased risk of asthma, however, the association of food allergy with asthma is still a controversial issue. The aim of this commentary is to consider the evidence from the AGR regarding the effects of diet/food allergy on asthma risk that may be used to make recommendations for future research.