Does junk food cause allergies?

You are what you eat. That our eating habits affect our health is not new – a recent study focuses on a possible connection to allergies.

The consumption of ready meals is continuously increasing, at the same time an increase of food allergies can be observed. A study by the University of Naples has taken a closer look at these developments.

Children with allergies

A team of researchers led by the Italian paediatrician Roberto Canani examined the diet of about 60 children between the ages of six and twelve – divided into a group with existing food allergies (e.g. soy or peanuts) and a comparison group without allergic symptoms. The result: Those children with an allergy have a significantly higher consumption of junk food such as burgers, pizza or chips.

The blame for this connection should lie with so-called AGE’s (Advanced Glycation Endproducts). These are substances that are produced when food is heated and also during the metabolic process in our body.
The interesting thing is that these products are said to be particularly high in people who frequently rely on industrially processed foods, as the study has shown.

Ignition trigger AGE

The metabolic products can change and penetrate the protective layer of our intestines. This is how the AGEs get into the blood and into the rest of the body. It has been shown that chemical waste products promote inflammation and lead to increased allergic reactions.

Roberto Canani, head of the study, sees a direct connection between the increasing food allergies (often to soybeans, nuts or fish in children) and the growing demand for finished products, which will also be investigated further.

Medically reviewed
This article has been examined for medical correctness by Nora Zulehner, PhD.


  1. Universität Neapel


  2. European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Posted by Nicole Dopler on 9/30/2019

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