Introduction Increasing morbidity of respiratory allergy among children has been observed in the last decades in Poland and across developed countries. Several factors responsible for unfavourable trends were investigated and dietary factors among them. Little is known how the diagnosis of allergy may play a role in decision making regarding consumption of some foods. The aim of the current study was to investigate the frequency of allergy among schoolchildren and to explore potential relationship between respiratory allergy and consumption of vegetables and fruits.
Methods Dietary factors, the frequency of diagnosed allergy and allergy symptoms for the year prior to interview were investigated among schoolchildren in a cross-sectional study. The frequency and the portion size of 77 dietary items were evaluated. Food allergy cases were excluded.
Results Among 62 schoolchildren investigated 6.5% were diagnosed with asthma, 12.9% with eczema. More reported recurrent rush, cough without inflammation, and hay fever. Overall 50.0% of children reported allergy symptoms. The rare frequency of vegetable (<median=13.5 times/week) and fruit (<median=10.8 times/week) consumption was defined. The diagnosis of allergy showed decreased risk of having a vegetable rarely (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.86), but an increase in BMI by 1 kg/m2 increased this risk (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.50). There was no significant relationship between allergy and rare fruit consumption.
Conclusion Data from a pilot study showed a possible effect of the diagnosis of allergy among schoolchildren on their dietary habits especially recommended consumption of vegetables. The results suggest that schoolchildren with allergy more frequently consume vegetables than their healthy peers.