Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nutty Allergies

Here's some interesting information about Peanut Allergies.

Exerpts from the LA Times:

Nut allergies -- a Yuppie invention
Some kids really do have food allergies. But most just have bad reactions to their parents' mass hysteria.

Yes, a tiny number of kids have severe peanut allergies that cause anaphylactic shock, and all their teachers should be warned, handed EpiPens and given a really expensive gift at Christmas. But unless you're a character on "Heroes," genes don't mutate fast enough to have caused an 18% increase in childhood food allergies between 1997 and 2007. And genes certainly don't cause 25% of parents to believe that their kids have food allergies, when 4% do.
Yuppiedom does.


When I talked to Christakis, he made it clear that -- unlike me -- he doesn't think peanut allergies represent a mass hysteria. That's because scientists believe in rigorous study and proof, while opinion columnists believe in saying something outrageous to get attention.

But we did agree that it is strange how peanut allergies are only an issue in rich, lefty communities.

"We don't see this problem much in African American or poor communities. So there's something going on here. We don't see them in Ecuador and Guatemala," Christakis said

updated 1/12: Caroline over at Ladyblog posts her personal experience with her daughter's allergies:

My daughter has what her pediatrician and her allergist have termed, “severe allergies” to eggs, peanuts, and all tree nuts. They prescribed EpiPens and dictated that I shoot her up with one if I even so much as think she might have ingested one of these dreaded foods. Seriously. I was terrified and depressed about it for two weeks.
Benadryl or Zyrtec does the trick nicely and I keep one or the other in my purse and at her school.

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