Food allergies on the rise

Food allergies on the rise

1 in 13 children are now allergic to something


No question, the number of people suffering from food allergies is increasing. Researchers from New York's Mount Sinai Hospital reported that the individuals with food allergy TRIPLED from 1997 to 2008. Recent studies estimate that 1 in every 13 children or approximately 2 children in each classroom now suffers with food allergies. And if you look at adults as well, we now have bout 3-6 percent of the population who have one or more "classic food allergies," and that's not even counting other food reactions and intolerances.

Several theories exist for why there is an increase. But when there are theories, the simple answer is we don't have a definite answer at this time. As might be expected, many of the theories focus on how our food is produced and packaged, the additives, and the processing. Others look at how our diets have changed and also how our society has changed in terms of how we manage and prevent infections (known as the hygiene hypothesis). 

What is apparent is that allergic disease, along with other inflammatory conditions, are rapidly affecting more people in modern, westernized societies than other less progressive or more isolated communities. That leads many to think it is not just one factor but the combination of many leading to the surge in these allergic diseases. The good news is that scientists are working diligently to uncover the possible causes and to find cures or at least better ways to lessen the impact of these conditions.

List of major food allergies