Why Are More Children Being Diagnosed With Food Allergies?

Dr. Jones answers the question: 'Why Do More Kids Have Food Allergies?'

— -- Question: Why are more children being diagnosed with food allergies?

Answer: It's very interesting that in the last five to ten years that more children are being diagnosed with food allergies. In particular, foods such as peanuts have -- food allergies related to peanuts -- have even doubled in the last five to ten years. The reasons for this are somewhat unknown. We believe that one of the reasons is that more doctors, nurses and health care providers are aware of food allergies and, therefore, leading to better diagnosis.

There's also some question that the way that we process foods and the foods that we eat may result in us having more food allergy in our world. And there's a whole theory known as the hygiene hypothesis that suggests that our world is very clean and that the role of certain types of infections are not seen in children as often -- especially in westernized countries -- and that this may lead to more allergies -- in particular food allergies. So I think more information is yet to come -- there's a lot of work being done in this area -- and I think we will certainly learn from that work being done.

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