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Pediatric Food Allergy Facts and Statistics in the United States

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Original research by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) for MedLine Plus; Abstract by Ifunanya Onyima, MS, RD




When a specific immune response occurs as a result of exposure to a specific food item, a food allergy is the most likely diagnosis. This article, retrieved from MedLine Plus, outlines the prevalence, causes, symptoms and treatment options for children with food allergies. 69 scientific articles from numerous reputable sources were compiled to create this report.


“Research continues to show that safe, early exposure to high-allergen food items could help to prevent or resolve food-related allergies.”

Almost 8% of children in the U.S. have a food allergy. 40% of these children are allergic to more than one food item. Tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and milk are said to be the most common foods that trigger allergic reactions among children. Sesame seed allergy is a growing concern due to the severe immune responses that have been associated with those who have this allergy, including anaphylaxis. Wheat, egg, milk and soy-related allergies usually resolved during childhood, while peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergies are usually life-long. Some studies suggest that children are outgrowing food allergies slower than those of previous generations. Research continues to show that safe, early exposure to high-allergen food items could help to prevent or resolve food-related allergies.


This report pulls information from several scientific, medical and government-related sources to create this statistical fact-sheet, which makes the document an easy-to-read summary about current statistics related to food allergies. However, some information used within this report comes from articles from over 20 years ago; this information may be out-dated.



Source(s)

“Food Allergy.” Text. National Library of Medicine. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://medlineplus.gov/foodallergy.html.


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