Food Allergy Documentary

Discovery Channel Documentary
Did you get a chance to watch the Discovery documentary, "An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America"? If not, you can view the 53 minute show online when you get a chance. A word of caution: it is graphic and may not be appropriate for kids. I would advise parents to preview it first.

I do think the documentary was well-done, but it is tricky to produce an educational film for different populations. It is a great piece for adults directly impacted by food allergies. It is also a learning opportunity for those not directly impacted by food allergies. This documentary can raise awareness about anaphylaxis and the dangers of food allergies. It can educate grandparents, teachers, coaches, babysitters and others who may come in contact with people with food allergies. 
Eating out with Food Allergy

It is a hopeful piece. To hear teens and adults talk about how they don't let food allergies "define them" and that you can "overcome obstacles" is a wonderful message for parents and young people who deal with food allergies. It is a thought-provoking piece. Why is it that food allergy rates have doubled in children since the late 1990's? There has been much research into causes and treatments, but there is still a long way to go to determine why more people are allergic to foods and how to best manage living with food allergy.

I also appreciated the term "threshold" used in the documentary to describe that everyone with food allergy has a different level of tolerance. This makes sense to me as a way to specifically address food allergy to others like the school nurse, restaurant staff, the school cafeteria, or caretakers. Every person with food allergies has different needs and it is up to parents, and eventually the food allergic person, to articulate those needs to others. 
Dr. Gupta

A shout out to Dr. Ruchi Gupta who was interviewed in this documentary. She is a strong food allergy advocate in her roles as a doctor and a parent of a food allergic child. Thank you to FARE and Mylan for their support of this show. Education and awareness is the key to keeping everyone with food allergies safe. After you watch the documentary, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

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