Atopy is a term used clinically to apply to a group of diseases of an allergic nature. A team of researchers from Finland wanted to know if the reason for the apparent increase in atopy among children may be related to diet. Specifically they wanted to look at the consumption of various fatty acids and see if they related to the development of atopic disease. The researchers looked at 231 sex- and age-matched pairs in 1980 and 154 pairs in 1986 and compared dietary data, serum fatty acid composition, and occurrence of atopic diseases. They found that the children who developed allergies tended to eat more margarine (a source of trans fats) and less butter when compared to the children who did not develop allergies. The research appeared in the journal, Allergy (2001;56:425-428).