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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rethinking Childhood Food Allergies

sean dreilinger/Flickr)" href="http://media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2013/09/0912_food-allergies.jpg">(sean dreilinger/Flickr)

(sean dreilinger/Flickr)

There has been a change in thinking about childhood food allergies.

For some time now, parents have been told it’s best to delay introducing babies to new foods such as eggs or peanut butter. But researchers now think such a delay may not have a significant impact on whether a child develops food allergies.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has updated its guidelines and the new thinking is that there is no clear benefit to delaying introduction of these foods. In fact, there may be a benefit to introducing those foods early.

The new thinking comes as food allergies are on the rise. Peanut allergies have doubled over the last 15 years, from about 1 percent of American kids to 2 percent, and there are several theories as to why that is happening.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that about 5 percent of children under five years old have at least one food allergy.

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  • L Petersen

    For Peanut Allergies, what does the research show regarding the use of Peanut Oil as an adjuvant in Vaccinations, during the 1950-70′s? Could this be what started the allergy?

  • R. Mitchell

    Do you know of any studies comparing food allergy rates between Caucasian, with Latino children? I know teachers in mostly Latino school districts that say that they have never in 15 or 20 years of teaching have seen a child with food allergies.

  • Invtr

    The answer for allergies have already been answered many times already.
    There is 100 trillion good bacteria that the body requires to exist. The 2
    main concerns is the chemicals and GMO products are killing our natural bodies bacteria. Chemicals change our genetic/(organism) make up, kills our immune system functions which can cause allergies like gluten allergies, cancer and many other complications. These people obviouslly don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve spent over 6+ years studying the proof that our food is the cause. Processed foods, MSG, GMO, etc.

    • Alexis

      Thank you, Invtr, for expressing what I was just about to log in to say. The three reasons given for the rise in allergies in this interview were superficial and, I believe, meant to steer people away from questioning our food supply too deeply.

      And the suggestion that introducing milk (meaning cow’s milk) to young infants could prevent milk allergies is ludicrous, and a clear effort to get mothers to buy something they already produce for free.

      My son has a severe peanut allergy, diagnosed via a trip to the ER at 18 months. He’s now 6 and his numbers are still off the charts. I’m also a former teacher and I see the statistics rising in real time in the classrooms. You are very much onto something when you write about the body’s natural bacteria being depleted by chemicals in our food supply.

      I believe this spike in allergies for this generation of children started with the compromised gut flora of all of the mothers, myself included, who grew up in the 70s and 80s. This was the beginning of the rise in immunizations and processed foods, in an era when breast-feeding (which helps populates the infant’s body with a nice start of healthy bacteria and immunity) was unpopular. Unwittingly, it’s our fault. We passed this compromised immunity on to our children. It’s not overuse of hand sanitizer or giving toddlers peanut butter too young.

  • Stephanie

    Have people even considered that kids are not reacting to the food itself, but to the preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, etc., that are in the food they are eating? I know a little kid who will react to shellfish that is preserved and frozen, but will not react if it is wild-caught and fresh-frozen without additional preservatives. Also, peanuts is an extremely common allergy. Conventional peanut crops are often rotated with cotton crops. Cotton is subjected to a large amount of pesticides/incesticides and those are most likely leaching into the ground which then, when alternated, the peanuts are soaking up. Has a study been done measuring the allergic reactions when an organic vs. conventional food product is consumed?

    • Lavada Skata

      I have considered all these “chemicals” in the food supply to be the problem well over 30 years ago.

      But don’t expect the American Chemical Industry to confirm what many of us already know. Their lobbyists on K Street in D.C. make sure they get their way with the FDA and the other bureaucracies.

      Stephanie, you make many good points. Its sad that those who write these articles don’t have the fortitude to ask these questions.

      Its obvious why? You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

      Do not alcohol, aluminum, aspartame, caffeine, canola, chlorine, cyclamates, fluoride, cow’s milk, malathion,mercury, nitrites, Nutrasweet, Neotame, Acesulfame potassium, xylitol, sorbitol, tobacco, sucralose, sugar and vaccinations constitute biological and chemical warfare against us.

  • Christine

    GMO Monsanto

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