Health: Food Allergies on the Rise

In recent years, the number of American children with food allergies has skyrocketed. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of kids with food allergies went up by 18 percent from 1997 to 2007. In 2007, about 3 million American children (younger than age 18) had at least one food or digestive food allergy. We can only imagine how much that figure has increased to by now, seven years later after the statistic was reported. One hypothesis made by scientists as to why more and more kids are developing food allergies is the idea that kids are not being exposed to enough bacteria to help them condition their bodies to tolerate the foods that they are allergic to. Maybe kids need to be exposed to common foods that people are allergic to, like shellfish and nuts, sooner in life? Not only is the number of food allergy cases increasing, but the severity of allergic reactions is increasing as well. The statistics show that tens of thousands of people visit emergency rooms across the United States for allergic reactions triggered by food allergies. Both kids and adults are encouraged to have blood tests done to see what foods they are allergic to, so that they can properly avoid eating them.

 

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