Food allergies appear to affect children's growth, a new
This could be due to the fact that the treatment for food
allergies is strict avoidance of foods that trigger a reaction, the researchers
The study of 245 children with food allergies found that
they were smaller than other children. It also found that children with more
than two food allergies were smaller than those with one or two food allergies.
The investigators looked at the body mass index (BMI) - a
measurement that takes height and weight into account - of food-allergic
children and compared it to BMIs of both healthy children and those with two
other conditions known to affect growth.
"A greater number of food allergies translates into a
greater number of dietary restrictions," study author Dr Brian Vickery, of
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in an American Academy of
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) news release.
He and his colleagues also found that children with a milk
allergy were smaller than those with other types of food allergies.
The study was scheduled for presentation at the
annual meeting of the AAAAI in San Antonio, Texas. The data and conclusions of
research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed journal.
"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," AAAAI president and study author Dr A Wesley Burks said
in the news release.
While the study found a connection between food allergies
and lower BMI in children, it did not establish a cause-and-effect
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about food allergies.
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