Monday, February 3, 2014

Increasing Food Allergies

Although nearly any food is capable of causing an allergic reaction, only eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the United States. These foods are:
  • Peanut
  • Tree nuts
  • Milk 
  • Egg 
  • Wheat 
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
The prevalence of food allergy increased by 18 percent from 1997 to 2007. - NIH

Estimated prevalence rates in the United States for individual food allergens include the following:
  • Peanut: 0.6 percent
  • Tree nuts: 0.4–0.5 percent
  • Milk and egg: no reliable data available from U.S. studies, but based on data obtained outside the United States, this rate is likely to be 1 to 2 percent for young children
  • All seafood: 0.6 percent in children and 2.8 percent in adults
Food Allergies on the Rise
  • According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
  • The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.
  • Researchers are trying to discover why food allergies are on the rise in developed countries worldwide, and to learn more about the impact of the disease in developing nations. More than 17 million Europeans have a food allergy, and hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade, according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).
So it all begs the question. Why are food allergies on the rise? What has changed from say, 100 years ago? Pre-ackaged foods? Food colorings? GMOs? Preservatives? Using chemicals rather than real foods to make pre-packaged foods last longer and be produced cheaper?


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