Early-life nutrition is an important modifiable determinant in the development of a child’s immune system, and may thereby influence the risk of allergic sensitization and atopic diseases. However, associations between overall dietary patterns and atopic diseases in childhood remain unclear. We examined associations of diet quality in early life with allergic sensitization, self-reported physician-diagnosed inhalant and food allergies, eczema, and asthma among 5225 children participating in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Diet was assessed during pregnancy, infancy, and childhood using validated food-frequency questionnaires. We calculated food-based diet quality scores (0–10 or 0–15), reflecting adherence to dietary guidelines. At age 10 years, allergic sensitization was assessed with skin prick tests. Information on physician-diagnosed inhalant and food allergies, eczema, and asthma was obtained with questionnaires. We observed no associations between diet quality during pregnancy and allergic sensitization (odds ratio (OR) = 1.05 per point in the diet score, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99, 1.13), allergies (0.96, 95% CI: 0.88, 1.04), eczema (0.99, 95% CI: 0.93, 1.06), or asthma (0.93, 95% CI: 0.85, 1.03) in childhood. Also, diet quality in infancy or childhood were not associated with atopic outcomes in childhood. Our findings do not support our hypothesis that a healthy dietary pattern in early life is associated with a lower risk of allergic sensitization or atopic diseases in childhood.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Allergic sensitization, Allergy, Asthma, Cohort, Diet quality, Eczema, Infants, Pregnancy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9080841, hdl.handle.net/1765/101324
Journal Nutrients
Nguyen, A.N. (Anh N.), Elbert, N.J, Pasmans, S.G.M.A, Kiefte-de Jong, J.C, de Jong, N.W, Moll, H.A, … Voortman, R.G. (2017). Diet quality throughout early life in relation to allergic sensitization and atopic diseases in childhood. Nutrients, 9(8). doi:10.3390/nu9080841