Recently I began subscribing to Allergic Living Magazine and they sent me their Summer 2009 issue. In it was a report about a 2008 statistical study that showed there are more nut allergies among Canadian children than children in the U.S. Read about it here. For example, 1.52 percent of Canadian children were found to be allergic to peanuts. A comparable study, performed in 2002 in the U.S. found that .83 children are allergic to peanuts. Tree nut allergy in Canada was also found to be about 120 percent higher for Canadian children, compared to .51 percent in the U.S.
The originators of the study caution that the differences may not be as they appear. The Canadian data was collected 6 years after the U.S. data. Also, in the U.S. data, peanut/tree nut allergy was found to have doubled in the 5 year period between 1997 and 2002. Having no more recent studies to view, we can only extrapolate that the incidence of peanut/tree nut allergy in U.S. children may have doubled--or more--from 2002 to 2007. I hope that the U.S. will get some more recent numbers for us, because among other things, the more kids found to have the allergy the more public policy can be affected. I get so many e-mails and posts from Canadian readers who express amazement that the U.S. does not have consistent policies regarding peanut allergies in schools, for example. Numbers help make a case for changes so I'd love to see some more recent data for peanut/tree nut allergy sufferers. Those of you attending FAAN Walks for a Cure or donating to this event, this is what some of your fundraising dollars should go to.
Allergic Living magazine is a great resource for anyone dealing with food allergies or celiac disease. And unlike Living Without Magazine, they don't include recipes that contain nuts or nut oils! Big bonus in my book--I can find those recipes in any mainstream magazine or newspaper! :)