The number of American children who suffer from food and skin allergies has increased dramatically in recent years, a new government report shows. The report also found a significant increase among children who reside in the country’s wealthiest families.
The report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on children up to age 17, based on answers from the National Health Interview found; Skin allergies such as eczema have risen the most over the past decade, going from a prevalence of 7.4 per cent in 1997-1999 to 12.5 per cent in 2009-2011.
Food allergies also rose from 3.4 per cent to 5.1 per cent over that time span. Rates of respiratory allergy, such as hay fever, stayed about the same and continued to be the most common childhood allergy (17 per cent). Children living in families that made more than 200 percent of the poverty level had the highest rates, the statistics showed.
“The prevalence of food and skin allergies both increased over the past 14 years,” said report co-author LaJeana Howie “This has been a consistent trend.”