Junk Food May be the Culprit Behind Food Allergies

The European Society has noted for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition that kids these days have a higher incidence of food allergies. Scientists believe that this is due to the high junk food content of their diet, which is referred to as AGEs or Advanced Glycation End products.

Statistics on Food Allergies in Kids

Steadily, food allergies have been rising in numbers over the past few decades, worldwide. In fact, in some countries, food allergies in children rose by 10 percent, which is an alarming number and places our kids’ health in danger. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1997 and 2011, the incidence of food allergies in kids in the US rose by a whopping 50 percent. In the United Kingdom, a 500 percent increase in hospital admissions for food allergies has been noted since 1990.

What’s the Driving Force Behind These Food Allergies?

Due to the uptick in food allergy cases, scientists are in hot pursuit of the culprit. Lots of theories have floated which all boils down to early exposure to bacteria and certain foods.

According to Dr. Roberto Berni Canani, a professor at the University of Naples said that “As of yet, existing hypothesis and models of food allergies do not adequately explain the dramatic increase observed in the last few years—so dietary AGEs may be the missing link.” In layman’s terms, these words mean that the spike in food allergies is connected to the increased prevalence of processed food consumption.

It has been reported that the general American population gets half their calories from processed foods that contain AGEs. AGEs are lipids or proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and diabetes that are chiefly found in some barbecues or roasted meats, microwaved foods, processed foods, and sugars.

Linking AGE products

To test the link between AGEs and food allergies, a study was conducted on children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. As much as 61 pieces of data were collected and divided into groups of kids who have no allergy as the control, kids with respiratory allergies and kids with food allergies. The results of the study showed a strong connection between food allergies and AGE consumption.

The study positively supports the link between AGEs being a driving factor on the increasing incidence rates of food allergies. However, further research is needed to cement the proof. But with the strong link shown by the test, it is hoped that government agencies can provide health preventive interventions that will restrict junk food consumption. Especially knowing that these junk foods are highly palatable and enjoyable for kids, the sense of urgency to this work is nonetheless emphasized as it will dramatically impact our kids quality of life.

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