Why food allergies are on the rise

Ron Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, explains how food allergies in children are on the rise and what top doctors attribute to the increased rate
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Why food allergies are on the rise

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One observation that almost everybody has noticed is that there seems to be an increase in the amount of food allergies out there. A lot of people will tell me that when they were young, they don't remember anybody that had a food allergy, and now it seems like everybody has a food allergy. This is something that has been documented very well. It's not only in the United States, but all over Western Europe and developed countries. We're not really sure why there has been an increase. The increase is not only in how much allergies, but the allergies seem to be a little bit more severe, as well, the reactions are stronger. As I said, we're not really sure why that happens. It may be we were giving the wrong advice to parents for a long time. We were asking them to hold on introducing different foods, such as, nuts, egg, and milk into kid's diets. Now it seems that it probably doesn't do any good, and may actually do some harm in terms of developing allergies. It's not quite that simple. I wish I could say that it just depends on when you introduce the food. There are probably other factors that we just haven't come up with yet that are influencing why this increase in food allergies has occurred.

Ron Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, explains how food allergies in children are on the rise and what top doctors attribute to the increased rate

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Ronald Ferdman, MD

Pediatrician, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Ronald Ferdman received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MD from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.  He completed both his Pediatric residency and his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then obtained a Masters in Medical Education (MEd) from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Education.  He currently is an attending physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  He is board certified allergy/immunologist, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  His current interests include management of allergic and immunologic diseases in high-risk children and education for families and clinicians. He is a California native, where he currently lives with his wife Susan and their three of four children, and spends his spare time wishing for more.

 

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