A survey of reported, food related asthma was carried out among children referred to hospital. Ninety nine replies were received from a postal questionnaire and 78 other children were interviewed personally. Both survey methods gave similar results. Symptoms from at least one item of diet were significantly more frequently reported by Asian than non-Asian children (91%:58% respectively). Ice, fizzy drinks, fried food, and nuts were incriminated significantly more often by the Asian children, but there was no difference in the prevalence of asthma associated with orange squash, milk, chocolate, or eggs. This ethnic difference could not be explained by a difference in severity of asthma. Results are presented of six Asian children who showed increased bronchial responsiveness after eating chips but not potato, thereby confirming their claim of asthma induced by fried foods. This report shows that food as a trigger of asthma is much more common than is generally accepted, particularly in Asian children.
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