Are Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise?


Margaret Sova McCabe and her son Tommie pose in her kitchen with some of the foods Tommie can eat, in Sanbornton, N.H.. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Hour 1

A recent study in the Journal Pediatrics found that food allergies among children are more widespread than previously thought.  According to the report, almost six million children have allergic reactions to peanuts, milk, shellfish or other foods, and 39% have a history of severe reactions.  However, last year a report came out warning that food allergies are being overdiagnosed.  So what’s the truth – are food allergies on the rise and if so, why?  Guest host Maiken Scott talks with JONATHAN SPERGEL, a Pediatric Allergist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and MATTHEW FENTON, an immunologist with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases about childhood food allergies.  What is it like to cope with a severe food allergy?  And, what’s behind the craze in gluten-free foods?

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 071311_100630.mp3]

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