Food Allergies More Prevalent in City Kids [Study]

Food allergies are a lot more common in kids from urban areas versus those from rural areas, according to a study that will be published in the July edition of Clinical Pediatrics.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the study followed almost 38,500 children under 18 and surveyed the representative sample of U.S. households with children regarding food allergies, and mapped the results out based on zip codes in every state.

Their key findings of the study include the fact that peanut allergies are twice as common in urban areas than rural communities at 2.8 percent versus 1.3 percent. Also, shellfish sensitivity is more prevalent in city kids at 2.4 percent versus rural kids at.08 percent.

The Chicago Tribune reports that one urban area researchers tracked was Cook County, where 9.8 of children in the more populated areas have food allergies, whereas 6.2 percent have a sensitivity in more bucolic zip codes.

According to CBS News, study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release that:

“We have found for the first time that higher population density corresponds with a greater likelihood of food allergies in children. This shows that environment has an impact on developing food allergies. Similar trends have been seen for related conditions like asthma. The big question is – what in the environment is triggering them?” A better understanding of environmental factors will help us with prevention efforts.”

The news release regarding the study results also noted that the states with the highest number of pediatric food allergies were: Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Check out more information about pediatric food allergies here: