Higher Education Means Higher Risk of Food Allergy

A recent study in the Journal of Allergy looking at education level and the incidence of food allergy caught my attention. Conducted in Canada, Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, an allergist and immunologist at McGill University’s The Montreal Children's Hospital and his team set out to answer the question, "What in the environment is affecting the rise in food allergies?"

Wouldn't we all like to know?

The research group called 10,000 households across Canada. Of the 3600 households to answer the phone and answer the series of questions, there appears to be a higher incidence of food allergy among the college educated- and their kids. People with a high school degree or less had fewer reports of food allergy.

Now, while I can several flaws in this study (all self reported, type of person to answer a phone survey, etc.), the general premise does make sense. I know I was one of those people who read all I could about pregnancy and babyhood. I attended all of my doctor appointments and followed their advice. Ten years ago, moms were being told to avoid eating highly allergenic foods such as peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding and we were told to delay introducing these foods into our babies and toddlers diets. Now the advice is the exact opposite.

So okay, perhaps being more educated leads to being more well-read and having easier access to healthcare. I'll continue to appreciate any study that looks into the causes and possible treatments for food allergies.

Discovery News offers a great re-cap on this study. What do you think?

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