Can Feeding Children Peanut Products at an Early Age Prevent Future Allergies?

design (3)As the number of children allergic to peanuts is rapidly increasing, a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine reports on recent research that indicates that withholding these products at a young age could be a contributor to the increase in the number of peanut allergies in the U.S. and other Western countries. This groundbreaking revelation is contrary to what many parents have been advised by pediatricians, who have historically recommended against giving young children ages 0-3 peanuts, due to choking concerns. Though the new research may not be entirely conclusive , it does suggest that advice disseminated to prevent one risk may have contributed to the rise of another, more prominent risk amongst children.

Here is a roundup of the reporting on this new research:

Preventing Peanut Allergy through Early Consumption — Ready for Prime Time?” Rebecca S. Gruchalla, M.D., Ph.D., and Hugh A. Sampson, M.D., The New England Journal of Medicine

“Feeding Infants Peanut Products Could Prevent Allergies, Study Suggests” Andrew Pollack, NYTimes

“Study finds peanut consumption in infancy prevents peanut allergy” National Institutes of Health

“Advisory about not feeding peanuts to infants and young children at risk for peanut allergy” American College of Surgeons, Science Daily

“Feeding Babies Foods With Peanuts Appears To Prevent Allergies” Rob Stein, NPR





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