Association between Western diet pattern and adult asthma: A focused review

Emily P. Brigham, Fariba Kolahdooz, Nadia Hansel, Patrick N. Breysse, Meghan Davis, Sangita Sharma, Elizabeth C. Matsui, Gregory Diette, Meredith C. McCormack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective Radical changes in diet have paralleled the increase in asthma with shifts toward a "Western" diet pattern, characterized by the high intake of processed meats and refined grains, high-fat dairy products, and sugary desserts and drinks. Because diet represents a modifiable risk factor in numerous chronic diseases, the authors examined the association between consumption of a Western diet pattern and asthma incidence, prevalence, and morbidity in adults. Data Sources PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science, and Scopus were searched for peer-reviewed publications published from January 1980 to April 2014. Study Selection Studies retrieved for inclusion assessed dietary patterns representative of a Western diet and asthma incidence, prevalence, respiratory symptoms, and lung function. Results Ten observational studies conducted in North American, European, and Asian countries, ranging from 153 to more than 70,000 individuals, did not provide evidence to support an association between a Western dietary pattern and asthma incidence and prevalence. Five of these studies also investigated asthma morbidity, with variable findings. Conclusion Current evidence does not support an association between a Western diet and incident or prevalent adult asthma but does suggest a possible link between a Western diet pattern and adult asthma morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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