The ever-growing number of kids diagnosed with food allergies is enough to make you wonder if there’s something in the air. Turns out, that could actually be the case: Children living in urban areas with a high population density are more likely to have a food allergy than their rural-dwelling counterparts, says a current study from Northwestern University.
Researchers studied 40,000 kids across the country, and found that nearly 10 percent of city kids have food allergies, compared to just over 6 percent of kids in less populated areas.
“This shows that environment may have an impact on developing food allergies,” says Ruchi Gupta, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University and lead study author. Gupta and her co-authors haven’t determined what those environmental triggers are, but say the study findings may help allergy prevention efforts in the future.
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