KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –The more I practice medicine the more I realize that some of the oldest phrases make the most sense. For instance: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

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The more studies we do and the more patients I see the more I realize the value of fruits – and for that matter vegetables – in the diet. Now we are learning that what we eat today can also impact our children.

My favorite study is related to apples. When moms-to-be ate apples during pregnancy, their children had lower rates of asthma. When you stop and think that more than 20 million Americans have asthma, including 6.2 million children, any small measure –especially a healthy one – might help.

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Pregnant women who ate more than four apples a week had children who were 37% less likely to have ever wheezed than children of mothers who had eaten the lowest number of apples during pregnancy.