A recent article from Reuters tallies up the annual cost of food allergies in the US at half a billion dollars.
Doctor visits, hospital care, and lost work days due to food allergies come with an annual $500 million price tag, according to a new U.S. study.
But what’s even more worrying is that
Food allergies among children have climbed 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. read more…
What you need to know:
Approximately 15% of Americans suffer from some sort of allergy or exaggerated immune response. There’s no single acceptable scientific explanation for the dramatic rise in allergies in the last decade:
1. People are much more aware of intolerances today than they were in the past. Whereas people could have gone for years with ailments and aches related to lactose or gluten intolerance, today they get diagnosed and embark on the appropriate dietary journey. And the food industry is happy to oblige, as evidenced by the dramatic rise in gluten free and dairy free options at the supermarket.
2. Toxic environment. Whether it’s pollution in the air, water, or ground, toxins are finding their way into our food supply.
Thankfully, today the top 8 allergies are acknowledged by law on food labels, and if you or a family member suffer from an allergy to milk, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, or eggs, the ingredient list of a product will clearly state if a product contains one of these. And there are plenty of allergen free options available at the grocery store.
One must be careful though. Allergen free does not necessarily mean junk food free. And there is usually a premium price for such products.
Do you or a loved one suffer from a food allergy? How did you find out? How are you coping?