Food allergies can be incredibly stressful to the people who suffer them. From having to make special orders at restaurants to declining gifts from unknowing loved ones to simply avoiding certain places and food genres altogether, they can cause a lot of issues in day-to-day life, and that doesn’t even include the unpleasant effects of actually eating the items one is allergic to. For kids, they can be even more bothersome, and now there’s another reason to check for food allergies in children: their growth.
A new study looking at children with food allergies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill compared their BMIs with those of kids sans allergies. Their findings showed that the kids who had an allergy were smaller than other children, and that those with more than two food allergies were even smaller than the kids with one or two. It also found that the ones who had a milk allergy were smaller than those with other types of food allergies.
While this shows a connection — as opposed to a cause-and-effect explanation — it does emphasize the importance of both checking and caring for food allergies in children. Study author and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology president Dr. A. Wesley Burks stated:
“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.”
This occurrence may be explained by a lack of ability to consume as much as children without constraints. ”A greater number of food allergies translates into a greater number of dietary restrictions,” stated study author Dr. Brian Vickery. Hopefully, further research will be done on the subject and more will be uncovered that can assist kids who have to deal with food allergies, and allow doctors to both understand more about them and find better ways to help treat the symptoms.