9. Theories on the Increasing Prevalence of Food Allergy

  1. Dean D. Metcalfe MD4,
  2. Hugh A. Sampson MD5,
  3. Ronald A. Simon MD6,7 and
  4. Gideon Lack MBBCh (Oxon), MA (Oxon), FRCPCH8
  1. Katrina J. Allen1,2,3 and
  2. Jennifer J. Koplin1

Published Online: 24 FEB 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118744185.ch9

Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives, Fifth Edition

Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives, Fifth Edition

How to Cite

Allen, K. J. and Koplin, J. J. (2013) Theories on the Increasing Prevalence of Food Allergy, in Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives, Fifth Edition (eds D. D. Metcalfe, H. A. Sampson, R. A. Simon and G. Lack), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118744185.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Chief, Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 5

    Kurt Hirschhorn Professor of Pediatrics, Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences, Director, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

  3. 6

    Head, Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Scripps Clinic, San Diego, CA, USA

  4. 7

    Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA

  5. 8

    Professor of Paediatric Allergy, King's College London Clinical Lead for Allergy Service, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

  2. 2

    The University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

  3. 3

    Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2014
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470672556

Online ISBN: 9781118744185

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Keywords:

  • food allergy;
  • peanut allergy;
  • genetics;
  • vitamin D;
  • risk factors;
  • epidemiology

Summary

The prevalence of food allergy is widely believed to be increasing, although further studies will be needed to accurately define the magnitude and timing of changes in the prevalence of food allergy. There are multiple theories that attempt to explain this rise in prevalence, with recent studies providing some evidence for a link with environmental factors such as sun exposure (through vitamin D status) and dietary factors (such as timing of introduction of allergenic foods) as well as changes in microbial exposure. Ongoing studies promise to shed some light on this important issue.