home
RSS
Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise
May 2nd, 2013
02:39 PM ET

Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise

Food and skin allergies are becoming more common in American children, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both have been steadily increasing for more than a decade.

Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy.  According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.

The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.

Both food and respiratory allergies also increased with income level, meaning richer families had higher rates of childhood allergies. Hispanic children had lower rates than non-Hispanic white and black children in the survey. The report did not look into the potential reasons for this.

Scientists are still trying to figure out where allergies come from, and why they’re on the rise in the United States. Internal bacteria, genetics and environment may all play a role, says Dr. Edward Zoratti, head of the allergy and immunology division at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Why are food allergies on the rise?

When particles of pollen or certain types of food enter our bodies, they're called antigens. If your body has a sensitivity to that particle, it mistakes the harmless element for a dangerous invader, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The particle then becomes what we call an allergen.

Allergens cause your body to produce Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies. Antibodies are used to identify and destroy dangerous invaders. Unfortunately, IgE antibodies also release histamine and other chemicals that can create an allergic reaction.

That means anything that impacts our immune system could change our susceptibility to allergies, Zoratti says. For instance, our diet has changed over time – “and not for the better” – with more processed food and fewer natural nutrients. We’re also outdoors less and exercise less, all of which may be changing how our immune system reacts to these antigens.

Studies have been done in Europe, he says, that show children who are raised on farms are less likely to have allergies. Researchers believe exposure to animals and various microbes at a young age strengthens the immune system. It’s called the “hygiene hypothesis,” meaning our body’s ability to fight back has been weakened by too clean of an environment.

A lack of vitamin D may also be contributing to the rise in allergies. Many people in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency, Zoratti says. While scientists aren’t sure how Vitamin D works, they do know it plays a crucial role in the immune system. There’s also a growing concern that the antibiotics we take as children are killing off good bacteria in our gut, making it difficult for the good to fight off the bad.

“There’s been a lot of changes in the (microbes) that we’re exposed to, or that grow in and on our body,” Zoratti says.

Bottom line, scientists are still working to figure out why allergies are on the rise. If your child has an allergy or allergy symptoms, talk to their pediatrician and visit AAAI.org or AAFA.org for more information.


soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Annamae Slown

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2018/05/?m=0

    May 17, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Boyd Barroso

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/05/alaska-airlines-unveils-their-timbers-jet-livery/

    http://www.doc-txt.com/Boeing-Everett-Museum.pdf

    May 18, 2021 at 04:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Alexis Sides

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/03/boeing-factory-tour-787-dreamliner-and-777-worldliner/

    http://privatejetstoday.blogspot.com/2010/08/private-jet-flight-attendant-jobs.html

    May 19, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Christeen Henkey

    I love looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    https://extraproxies.com/https-www-greengarcinia-co-uk-juvenique/

    May 19, 2021 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Monroe Ako

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2009/05/tweeting-at-conferences.html?m=0

    May 20, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Velda Katzenberger

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/08/farewell-to-jack-shallcrass-splendid.html?showComment=1459767919106

    May 21, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Edison Huyser

    I don't know about you people but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/02/alaska-airlines-and-horizon-air-launch-paperless-boarding-passes-is-this-the-future/

    http://www.doc-txt.com/Boeing-Everett-Museum.pdf

    May 22, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jeffrey Hallin

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2006/05/what-if-you-dont-know-what-youre-good.html

    May 23, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Emilia Robotham

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2006/02/putting-down-sound-track-my-podcasting.html

    May 28, 2021 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tonia Kunis

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2009/12/thinking-visually.html?m=0

    May 29, 2021 at 07:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Roberto Ristow

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2015/02/new-book-in-our-series-matt-farbers.html?showComment=1540207666946

    May 30, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Shavonne Kotz

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2009/11/multimodality-and-learning-conference.html

    May 31, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Israel Stweart

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 1, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Meda Lucek

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2018/01/new-book-in-our-series-congrats-again.html?showComment=1552848597543

    June 3, 2021 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dexter Michno

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 6, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Kathern Errett

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 9, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Hosea Fivecoat

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://thisteachinglife.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-be-education-expert-and-warrior.html

    June 12, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kenton Eacret

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2008/02/whilst-david-buckingham-talks-on.html

    June 12, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Lora Wehe

    I don't know about you all but I am obsessed with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/06/congress-wants-the-tsa-to-enforce-carry-on-size/

    http://privatejetstoday.blogspot.com/2010/08/private-jet-flight-attendant-jobs.html

    June 13, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jamie Tomaszycki

    I don't know about you people but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/07/more-crazy-than-ryanair-award-standing-room-only/

    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Be-a-Part-of-Giving-Tuesday-by-Supporting-the-Future-of-Flight-Foundation-.html?soid=1111846961938&aid=zrXG1JFUdEw

    June 13, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Shameka Thommarson

    I don't know about you all but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/03/happy-st-patricks-day/

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2005/02/art-of-leaving-feedback_110857950693922508.html

    June 13, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Benton Drungo

    I don't know about you people but I am obsessed with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/05/design-your-own-airplane-get-it-on-display/

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2003/04/this-blog-this-blog-has-been-created.html?showComment=1540821530555

    June 13, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Rocco Franchette

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/08/call-for-book-proposals-for-our-series.html?showComment=1459305297256

    June 15, 2021 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Miki Albury

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://digitalbeginnings.blogspot.com/2008/10/digital-momentum.html

    June 15, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ria Malin

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/09/latest-book-in-our-series-learning.html?showComment=1517297096868

    June 21, 2021 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Yong Remeder

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/08/new-book-in-our-series-youth-community.html?showComment=1548580218728

    June 21, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.