Food Allergies Are Up and More Severe

Posted on June 20, 2011 by


NEW YORK, June 20, 2011,  According to a national survey of more than 38,000 families, 8 percent of children in the United States suffer from a food allergy – a considerably higher number than reported in previous studies.

 In addition to estimating that 5.9 million children under age 18 now have a food allergy, the new study, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that nearly 39 percent of the youngsters surveyed had a severe or life-threatening allergy, and that more than 30 percent had multiple food allergies. Consistent with previous research, the study, funded by the Food Allergy Initiative, (FAI) reported that children with a tree nut or peanut allergy tend to have the most severe reactions.

“This is the largest study ever conducted on the prevalence of food allergy in U.S. children and it differs from previous studies in important ways,” said the principal investigator, Ruchi S. Gupta, M.D., MPH, a pediatrician at Children’s Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Our goal was to paint a comprehensive picture of childhood food allergy in America. We began by surveying a representative sample of children in the U.S. and collected extensive information on each and every food allergy reported – including date of onset, method of diagnosis, and reaction history.” Data on race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and geographic region were also collected.

US Food Safety has you covered.  For the latest food allergy recalls, visit

Posted in: allergy, food safety