As we all know, today, just eight years later, we are close to 9%. That’s astounding!
With such explosive growth, is it possible that in 10-15 years 25% of all Americans could have food allergies?
It’s interesting to note the foods people are most allergic to in different parts of the world. Here in the US, we know the most common food allergies to be milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat (gluten), fish, shellfish, and sesame. In Europe you see these same food allergies, but you also see people commonly allergic to celery, crustaceans, lupin, mollusks, mustard, and sulphites (see this chart by England’s Food Standards Agency).
If you start delving deeper country by country, you find that Spain, Italy and Greece have high rates of melon, apple, and peach allergies and Norway and Iceland have high rates of cod allergies.
In Asia, you see many of the same food allergies we have here in the US, however whereas peanut allergies are most common here, shellfish is the most common food allergen in Asia. Looking at specific countries, allergies to royal jelly are common in Hong Kong, pineapple in Ghana, bird’s nest in Singapore, buckwheat in Japan, jackfruit in Bangladesh and cucumber and papaya in India (see this article for more info).
These are interesting facts, however the common denominator is that food allergies are a growing problem and they are worldwide problem. The growth and prevalence of food allergies is scary, and soon the worldwide percentages will leapfrog epidemic standards and become pandemic.
We need to build awareness to food allergies, we need to determine the cause of the food allergy problem and why it’s growing, and we need to find a food allergy cure.
What do you think? What is the reason for the rise in food allergies?