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Mothers worry unneccessarily

31st January 2008

According to £600,000

motherandbaby1 research by the University of Portsmouth has found mothers who think their children are allergic to some foods are, in the majority of cases, wrong.

In the three-year study, which was funded by the Food Standards Agency, Dr Carina Venter monitored 800 babies born on the Isle of Wight. They were observed at the ages of six months, one, two and three years.

Although more than a third of mothers said their child was intolerant to certain foods, only 27 were had food allergies at the age of three, and less than 60 were allergic "at any stage"

Dr Venter said: "People have become more aware of food allergies, particularly of peanut allergy. Mums tend to put down every rash, tummy ache, diarrhoea and crying to food allergy or intolerance."

She said that she sympathised with mothers who blamed food when their baby showed a strong reaction to it, particularly if the child developed a rash, eczema or stomach problems.

The study also discovered that there had not been an increase in food allergies by comparing it with the data from a study carried out in the US twenty years ago.

Dr Venter said: "Why food allergies haven't increased isn't clear. Asthma, eczema and hay fever are growing, and we thought food allergies were too.

"We don't know at this stage why it isn't increasing."


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Article Information

Title: Mothers worry unneccessarily
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5503
Date Added: 31st Jan 2008

Sources

BBC News
The Telegraph

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