SureBaby Blog

New Study on Childhood Food Allergies

Posted by tina

When navigating complex school lunch rules for your kids, it’s easy to believe that food allergies in children are on the rise. Now, new research is putting numbers on the trend.

The research, conducted out of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, looked at data from almost 40,000 American families with children. The families were asked questions about the food allergies their children have suffered or continue to suffer from, and information was provided on diagnosis and treatment.

"What makes this study so unique is not only the large number of households surveyed, but the amount of data collected for children with a reported food allergy,” research lead Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, noted. “With this data we are able to differentiate between perceived and convincing food allergies, understand racial and economic differences in food allergy, and understand trends in food allergy diagnosis and testing.”

While prior research indicated 4 percent of children in the US had a food allergy, this new study bumps that number up to approximately 8 percent.  Just a few interesting statistics that came out of the work included the 38.7 percent of children who were classified as having a food allergy that caused severe reactions and the 30.4 percent who had multiple food allergies. The most common allergens identified were peanuts, milk and shellfish. You can read the full study in Pediatrics online journal.

Though the findings are exciting, some medical professionals and researchers are saying it’s too soon to call the study conclusive. Because the findings were taken from data that was given based on recall and without scientific measurement, there is room for error.

Still, Dr. Gupta and the team believe their study will help shed light on the growing number of children with food allergies and will help lead to improvements in diagnosis, treatment and quality of life.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.