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Kids’ food allergies on the rise

Author John Thompson
Submitted 25-10-2008

Any father who has tried to organize his child’s birthday party is aware that today’s kids can have an astounding array of dietary limitations.

Creating a menu to please the lactose-intolerant, gluten-intolerant and vegetarians alike can challenge any man’s parenting skills.

Now, new figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that the number of children suffering from food allergies has jumped by 18 percent in the last decade alone.

That means that nearly 4 percent of youngsters under the age of 18 have some form of food allergy, with girls and boys equally affected.

As part of its investigation, the CDC found that some 90 percent of allergies are caused by only eight types of food – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

But why are more children diagnosed with allergies today than they were 10 years ago? Experts are not sure.

Some have suggested that moms and dads may have more awareness of allergies, due to the large amount of parenting advice available on the topic.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents that it is important to distinguish between food allergies and other problems such as food poisoning, skin irritations and diarrhea.