Junk Food May Be Responsible For Food Allergies

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 | 1240 Views

A recent study by researchers in Italy suggests that children who consume more junk food are more susceptible to developing food allergies.

The number of children with food allergies is on the rise—according to Food Allergy Research & Education, one in 13 children in US have food allergies and the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergy in children have increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.

Junk food contains high level of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are associated with food allergy in children. AGEs are also known to play a role in development of other diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. The small study conducted involved 61 children between ages of six to 12 and revealed that children with food allergies had higher levels of AGEs than children with respiratory allergies or no allergies at all. However, this study is small and does not prove that consuming more junk food, does indeed cause food allergies.

“As of yet, existing hypotheses and models of food allergy do not adequately explain the dramatic increase observed in the last years—so dietary AGEs may be the missing link. Our study certainly supports this hypothesis, we now need further research to confirm it. If this link is confirmed, it will strengthen the case for national governments to enhance public health interventions to restrict junk food consumption in children,” said Roberto Berni Canani, Principal Investigator, University of Naples ‘Federico II’.

Food manufacturers are venturing into new opportunities to cater to these food allergy restrictions and the shift towards healthier eating among the younger generation.