Research Suggests Ways to Decrease Food Allergy Prevalence in Kids

Drug Topics Journal, Drug Topics November 2021, Volume 165, Issue 11

During a session at the 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition research revealed that introduction to common allergy foods early on can be key in decreasing the frequency of development in children.

During a session at the 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition research revealed that introduction to common allergy foods early on can be key in decreasing the frequency of development in children.

Many new parents have misconceptions about the relationship between introducing foods and developing allergies, according to Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, MD, FAAP, FAAAAI, FACAAI, director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida.

“Food allergy affects approximately 8% of children,”Hernandez-Trujillo said during her session at the 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition on essential advice to prevent food allergies.

“Discussion with parents regarding solid food introduction is essential.”Hernandez-Trujillo noted a lack of evidence supporting dietary restriction during both pregnancy and lactation. There is also no convincing evidence for use of soy-based formula in allergy prevention, little evidence that hydrolyzed formula prevents atopic disease, and no evidence supporting delayed introduction of solid foods beyond 4 to 6 months to protect against atopic disease.

“The times are changing: The recommendations of avoidance of solids and ‘allergenic’ foods until 3 to 5 years old are no longer advised,” Hernandez-Trujillo said.

She cited the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP)study: “The take-home message of this study was that the early introduction of peanuts significantly decreased the frequency of the development of peanut allergy among children at high risk.”

Next, Hernandez-Trujillo pointed to the 2016 Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study, which was designed to investigate the best time to introduce 6 allergenic foods to the infant diet: cow’s milk, peanut, egg, sesame, fish, and wheat.The findings proved that early introduction resulted in lower disease, she added.