Food Allergies: Outlawing PB&J
As food allergies become more prevalent and more persistent among kids, the medical community is trying to find out why — and how to deal with the trend.
The incidence of food allergies doubled over the last decade and now affects approximately 3 million school-age children and 1 in every 17 kids age 3 or younger. Research suggests some food allergies are lasting longer into childhood than in the past. Food allergies can have far-reaching effects on every aspect of a family's home and social life, as parents try to manage kids' exposure to allergens. Even kids who don't have food allergies are affected, facing new restrictions on what they can eat and bring to daycare, schools, summer camp, and even birthday parties. A recent federal law required food-makers to plainly state whether their products contain any of the top food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified food allergies as a public health issue and funded research to learn what causes them and to develop options for treatment and prevention.
What to Watch:
As the incidence of food allergies continues to rise among kids, more families and communities will be contending with them, whether their kids have allergies or not. With more school lunchrooms becoming peanut-free zones, staples like PB&J could become relics of the past.
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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