Epidemic proportions: food allergies double in ten years

The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has launched the Food Allergy Campaign in the light of increasing evidence of the epidemic proportions that allergy has reached in the last decade.

There has been a seven-fold increase in the occurrence of anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that is severe and potentially life threatening, according to hospital admission statistics. A third of all allergic shocks in children occur for the first time at school, and teachers remain largely unprepared. Children most commonly suffer from egg, cow’s milk and nut allergies, and adults most commonly suffer from fruit, vegetables and nuts.

The first element of the campaign is the International Minimum Standards for the Allergic Child at School document, which will establish the minimum requirements for the safety of allergic children at school.

The campaign will teach the difference between food allergy and intolerance, will encourage the improvement of food labelling and increasing access to emergency anaphylaxis treatment. The campaign will run for a year, establishing guidelines on food allergy and anaphylaxis covering diagnosis, treatment, management in the community and prevention, involving Clinicians, Immunologists, Epidemiologists, Food Technologists, Food Industry Research Department Representatives, Regulatory Bodies, Allied Health Representatives, and Patient Organisations.

Source: The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

The Food Allergy Campaign

First published in June 2012

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