Lower Weight and BMI Linked to Food Allergies

Food Allergies and Low Weight
A recent study of 245 food allergic children found that children with food allergies had lower percentiles for weight, height and BMI compared to age-matched "healthy" children. 

The information about this study was presented at the annual conference of the America Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The study went further and looked at the relationship between growth and the number of food allergies.

No surprise here...children with a greater number of food allergies had lower height and weight percentiles. 

Dairy Allergy
More specifically, multiple food allergies and/or milk allergy was found to result in the lowest percentiles.

“The relationships uncovered between food allergic children,particularly those with more than two and those suffering from milk allergy, and the examined growth markers stress the need for nutritional assessment and intervention to ensure that food allergies do not contribute to any growth delay,” explained AAAAI President and study author A.Wesley Burks, MD, FAAAAI. 

I hope this also highlights the need for food allergy savvy nutritionists. We've visited two nutritionists recommended by our allergist. Both left me wondering why I was the one writing the check after I was told by the professionals, "Wow, you taught me a lot. I had no idea!"

Over the years, I've tried to enrich foods whenever possible by incorporating soy flour in my baked goods, adding almonds to recipes or using flax as an egg substitute. Fortunately many of the rice and soy milks now come enriched with calcium and Vitamin D. 

It's enough to worry about keeping our kids safe by avoiding allergens. Now we must also face what that avoidance is doing to their physical growth and development.


Do you have ways to sneak in some extra nutrients into your food allergic child's diet
Have you observed a correlation between food allergies and the impact on growth? 

You can check out the press release from AAAAI about this study for more information


Gratefulfoodie said...

I wish I could have attended the AAAAI meeting! Thanks for sharing this article so quickly. I think we're discovering more about environmental and behavioral factors when managing food allergies.

corrinacs said...

Thank you for posting this! I am glad I'm not alone in that "trend". Both of my babies (one is 5 years old now) have tons of food allergies. And the biggest struggle is getting them to GAIN WEIGHT! They are both string beans, eat a lot....but still, they are trailing behind their peers. My older son is really tall, though.

For me, I try to "Sneak" stuff in but that's really not my "style". I just offer foods (some are different than the normal American cuisine) but it works. Seeing a nutritionist is phenomenal. They can tell you about foods that are high in protein (like Quinoa, kale, etc) that you can give your kids. We also make use of vitamins so that's one less thing I have to think about- ensuring that they have their vitamins :). Our biggest hurdles are fat and protein. Avacados are great dippers and have tons of healthy fats. Also, putting olive oil in their dishes is another "sneaky" way to add fat! Point being, see a nutritionist. I would never have known about those "secrets" :).