Does Where You Live Affect Your Chances of Developing Food Allergies?

Research has shown that children living in cities have a higher risk of developing food allergies than children in rural areas do. Researchers noted that almost 10% of the study's participants from urban areas had food allergies, compared with about 6% of children from rural areas. Although research has found a connection between population density and food allergies, as of 2012, it was not known why living in a crowded city increases a child's risk of developing food allergies.

More about food allergies:

  • The most common types of food allergies in children are allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts. Adults are more likely to be allergic to shellfish or tree nuts, and allergies to eggs or peanuts are common for adults as well.

  • States that have the highest number of food allergy cases include Alaska, Nevada and New Jersey.

  • Not all negative reactions to foods are allergies. An allergy is an immune system response. Intolerance, which usually manifests as an upset stomach, is a digestive problem.

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Discussion Comments


Children are packing a 'puffer' almost everywhere. What is going on?


Its easy to figure out why. The kids in the "concrete jungle" aren't exposed to dirt, plants and animals like their "country cousins." Also, the more urbanization there is the poorer the air, water and food quality.

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