A new report focuses on food allergies as a public health concern. The 18-month study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine examines public health policies and makes recommendations for more research and education.
Assistant professor of communication studies at IUPUI Jennifer Bute serves on a national food allergy board and says the report is encouraging.
“The report explicitly says that this is a chronic health condition that has been ignored for far too long,” says Bute.
The report touches on the need for better information about the cause and prevalence, improved diagnostic tools, prevention and treatment approaches.
“We need to know what causes it, we need to have some treatment for it, we also need some work on better diagnostic tools,” Bute says.
The study also finds a need for more education across the board – from first responders to the classroom. Bute, who also has a young son with life-threatening allergies, says this includes the food industry.
“That’s a struggle our family faces,” says Bute, “and it’s also a large source of confusion for consumers and families with food allergies to figure out what products are safe.
An estimated 8 percent of children in the U.S. have food allergies.