Over the past 10 years, the incidence of food allergies has been increasing in developed countries worldwide. In the U.S., some 12 million people suffer from food allergies of varying degrees of severity—nearly 4% of children under age 18 and 3-4% of the overall population. There is no cure, and no therapy to prevent anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction—only emergency treatment to control a reaction that is already in progress.
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis
- For some people, even a tiny trace of the wrong food can trigger an anaphylactic reaction. People with food allergies must always be vigilant. Dangerous trace amounts of problem foods may be found in poorly labeled processed foods, on cross-contaminated utensils or manufacturing equipment—even carried on another person's hands or transmitted through a kiss.
- The foods that most commonly cause anaphylaxis are peanut, tree nuts, and shellfish.
- Every year, food-allergic reactions account for some 203,000 emergency room visits—sending someone to the ER every three minutes.
Who Gets Food Allergies
- More than 6.5 million Americans are allergic to seafood and over 3 million are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.
- The number of children with peanut and tree nut allergies tripled from 1997-2008. Teens and young adults with these allergies appear to be at an increased risk for severe allergic reactions.
To raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Food Allergy Initiative is national in scope - our primary focus is to raise funds that support research into a cure for food allergies, and we now have an office in the Chicagoland area.
MOCHA (Mothers of Children Having Allergies) is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. The 200+ Chicagoland members of MOCHA know how frightening it can be to learn that your child has been diagnosed with severe, often life-threatening allergies. MOCHA holds meetings many times per year and have an active email list.