Food and skin allergies are becoming more common in American children, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both have been steadily increasing for more than a decade.
Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy. According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.
The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.
Teenagers and young children who eat fast food could be increasing their risk of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever, according to a study published Monday in the British Medical Journal's respiratory journal Thorax.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) study used written questionnaires completed by 319,196 13- and 14-year-olds from 51 countries and by the parents of 181,631 6- and 7-year-olds in 31 countries. They were asked if they had symptoms of the three conditions and about their weekly diet – including the types of foods they ate over the last year, and how often.
In kindergarten, Owen Kellogg came home sobbing one day because another boy at school had told him that he had a peanut, and that he was going to force Owen to eat it.
Owen, now 7, is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, said his mother, Haylee Kellogg of Cedar Hills, Utah. In reality, the taunting boy did not have a peanut, but Owen didn't know that - he just knew that eating a peanut could make him stop breathing.
Helen Olive had her first allergy attack 11 years ago. She had gone to bed only to wake up hours later because her neck felt as if it were on fire.
"It was terrible," said Olive, who is 42 and lives in North Carolina. "The sensation was all over my body and then I developed hives."
A slender woman with wavy, reddish-brown hair and blue eyes, Olive might appear perfectly healthy. But waking up in the middle of the night with uncontrollable itching and nausea became a common theme in her life.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
This gorgeous spring weather triggers so many thoughts and emotions. It could make you daydream about weekend beach getaways, lolling around in a hammock, fresh produce - hey, isn't rhubarb in season? A fresh pie sounds just delicious - and wouldn't it be so much prettier if you included a few of those lovely leaves?
Don’t do it, unless you're planning on making this your last meal. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, raw or cooked (they contain a not-good-for-you substance - oxalic acid). The stalk isn’t toxic, although it’s crazy tart if it’s not cooked and somehow sweetened up. Here are a couple of other ingredients to avoid - or at least moderate your consumption of - this season.
Elizabeth Gordon is the author of 'The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook and Allergy-Free Desserts'. She was diagnosed with multiple food allergies in 2007 after the birth of her first child and decided to combine her social work background with her love of the culinary arts to help people just like her. She cooks up new treats, weekly, on her blog allergyfreedelights.com
The United States is home to 9 million adults and 6 million children coping with food allergies ranging from annoying rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Millions of other families are taking note of government-funded initiatives like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move project and reaching for less processed and more natural fare.
While healthy and safe eating is the common denominator between these groups, there is likely another: sticker shock when the checkout person hands over the grocery receipt.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack and...on second thought, I'll just have a brat and a Miller Lite.
For millions of allergy sufferers across the country, someone else's snack can mean a deadly attack. Now one more major league team has been added to the roster of baseball parks offering dedicated peanut-free seating at some games.
The Milwaukee Brewers announced in a press release that there will be a 100-seat peanut-controlled area at Miller Park for games on Monday, May 7, Thursday, July 26 and Friday, September 14, with tickets available for pre-order starting March 1 at Brewers.com/peanutcontrolled. Because the entire venue will not be peanut-free, those seated in the area will be required to sign a waiver.
Among the sea of bloody-faced zombies and warted witches that will be out and about this Halloween, there’s an even scarier villain for some lurking in the sweetest of places: the candy bowl.
“For food allergic young people, it’s not the ghouls and goblins that are the scariest part of the trick-or-treating, the treats are,” says Mireille Schwartz, the founder and CEO of the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board and a Board of Directors member of FAAN, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.
Schwartz’s 11-year-old daughter, Charlotte Jude, is just one of the about 12 million Americans - roughly 4 percent of the population - who suffer from food allergies.
That number is even higher among children: According to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, approximately 8 percent of children under 18 in the United States have at least one food allergy.
But with some strategic planning, Schwartz says food allergies, like her daughter’s nut aversion, shouldn’t get in the way of the frightfully fun festivities.
"Dad, my throat hurts. Can you get me some cough drops?" B.J. Hom asked his father, Brian.
Brian had no idea those would be the last words he would hear his son say.
The Hom family had just arrived at a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, to celebrate B.J.'s high school graduation and 18th birthday. But while Brian went to get cough drops at the gift shop, B.J. collapsed, his lips blue and his face pale, gasping for breath. He died that night from an allergic reaction, probably to unnoticed peanuts in a dessert from the dinner buffet.
"It was like someone reached in and ripped our hearts out," said Brian Hom of San Jose, California.
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Reading "Don't kill the birthday guest" and looking for a sweet solution to a risky allergy situation? We've got you covered.
Sticky Fingers Chocolate Love Cake or Cupcakes