Who gets food allergies?

Food allergies are common in children – roughly 4 % of children have a food allergy. Roughly 5 % of children under the age of 5 years have a food allergy. Children with food allergies may also have other allergies, for example, a recent study in the US showed that 29 % of children with food allergies also had asthma and 27 % of children with food allergies also had allergic eczema (whereas only 12 % of children without food allergies had asthma and 8 % of children without food allergies had allergic eczema). The rates of food allergies in children appear to have risen by almost 20 % between 1997 and 2007 in the US. Food allergies are slightly more common in boys than in girls (4.1 % of boys have a food allergy, whereas 3.8 % of girls have a food allergy)

A lot of children can outgrow food allergies by school age, which explains why only 1 in 70 (less than 1.5 %) adults have a food allergies. Food allergies in adults tend to be a little more severe, can start later on in life, and are unlikely to go away with time.

People with food allergies may have a genetic tendency to develop allergies. This is known as atopy. As a result, other people in the family may have allergies (not necessarily food allergies), and a person with food allergies may suffer from other allergies too, such as asthma, hay fever, or allergic eczema.

Food Allergies Guide Index:

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