Wall Street Jrnl: 8 percent of children have allergies

Aug 21, 2017, Wall Street Journal: A Striking Rise in Serious Allergy Cases The rate of reports of severe allergic reactions to foods like peanuts has increased by nearly five times over the past decade, according to a new analysis of private insurance claims. ... The proliferation of food allergies in the western world, particularly to peanuts, has baffled medical experts who struggle with how to advise parents and children for a condition with no permanent cure. Studies have found that as many as 8% of children have a food allergy, with nearly 40% having a history of severe reactions. The increase could be related to the increasing use of antibiotics, rising rates of C-sections that affect the microbiomes of babies, and an increasingly sterile environment, says Hugh Sampson, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. All have altered the good bacteria in our intestinal tracts, which alters the programming of our immune systems. ... The rate of food allergies to peanuts and tree nuts have doubled or even tripled over the past two decades in the U.S., Dr. Sampson says.