Ask the Experts: What's Being Done To Combat Rising Allergy Rates in Kids?

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Allergies seem to be much more prevalent now than ever before. Are we making progress on figuring out what is going on and fixing the problem?

Robyn O'Brien from The AllergyKids Foundation answers:

"The landscape of childhood has changed. In the last several years, we have seen jaw-dropping increases in the rates of allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma, earning these conditions the nickname “the 4 As” and our children the title, “Generation Rx.”

Today, it is estimated that food allergies affect at least 1 out of 17 kids under the age of three, with a study showing a doubling of the peanut allergy between 1997 and 2002.  And according to an October 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions.

Thankfully, we are making progress, not only with the development of therapeutic treatments to treat those with food allergies, but also with a growing awareness of the important role that diet and nutrition can play in preventing their development of food allergies in the first place.

With leading researchers around the world including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the President’s Cancer Panel and the National Academy of Sciences now urging us to reduce our exposure to novel ingredients in our food supply, from artificial dyes derived from petrochemicals, to genetically engineered crops designed to withstand an increased saturation of weed killers, to artificial growth hormones, in order to prevent disease, we are quickly learning that there is so much that we can do to protect the health of our loved ones which is cause for hope so that we can not only restore the health of our children, but also the health of our country.

Robyn O'Brien is founder of The AllergyKids Foundation, and author of The Unhealthy Truth.

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