Kids Allergic To Cow’s Milk May Have Lower Weight, Height

Children who are allergic to milk are shorter and lighter compared to kids who are allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, according to a study that confirms childhood food allergies can affect growth. The study was conducted by the Children’s National Health System, presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology/World Allergy Organization.

The study of two groups of children, one strictly avoiding cow’s milk and the other avoiding peanuts and tree nuts because of clinically diagnosed allergy.

In measurements from a chart review of 1,098 clinic visits, they found that children with a milk allergy tended to have a lower weight and height, but not body mass index (BMI), compared to the peanut and tree nut allergic children.

The largest differences in weight were recorded when the children were 5 to 8 years-old and 9 to 12 years-old. Other allergic conditions, including eczema, and use of inhaled corticosteroids did not seem to effect weight.

“Correspondingly, persistent milk allergy was associated with a greater decline in weight and also BMI from the baseline visit when the children were 2 to 4 years-old,” said author Corinne Keet, MD, MS, PhD. “From our findings, this negative trend in growth appears to continue through pre-adolescence.”

Keet went on to note that the differences in weight, height and BMI are persistent and more pronounced for the patients with measurements at age 13 and above.

“Further study is needed to better understand the complex relationship between food allergy and childhood growth patterns,” said Keet. “Pediatricians and allergists need to work with their patients to ensure a diet that promotes healthy growth while acknowledging nutritional limitations due to allergy.”

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