Access to allergen-free foods is lower in black children than in white children

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September 28, 2021

2 minutes to read

Disclosures: Coleman does not report any relevant financial disclosure. The study was funded by NIH: FORWARD. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.


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Black children with food allergies had less access to allergen-free foods than white children, according to one study, primarily based on socioeconomic status and education.

Amaziah T. Coleman, MD, from the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Hospital, and colleagues wrote that non-Hispanic black children have experienced the greatest increase in the prevalence of food allergies in the past 20 years.

Data were derived from Coleman AT, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021; doi: 10.1016 / j.jaip.2021.08.005.

Additionally, black children with food allergies tend to have poorer clinical outcomes than white children, and white children with food-borne anaphylaxis are more likely to receive epinephrine before they arrive. emergency room.

“Barriers to health care and access to food may be contributing factors to racial and geographic differences in the burden of food allergies in children with food allergies in the United States,” wrote Coleman and his colleagues. colleagues in the study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. “It has further been reported that food insecurity in households of children with food allergies increases the burden of meeting basic nutritional needs. “

To determine the differences in access to allergen-free foods in black and white children with food allergies, the researchers evaluated 336 children (median age, 6.5 years) from the FORWARD prospective cohort study, including 70 , 2% were white and 29.8% were black.

Although the sex and number of food allergies were similar among the children in the cohort, the black children were older (8 years versus 5.6 years; P <.001 those caring for black children had an annual family income than vs. and education a bachelor degree>P P <.001>

Initial analysis showed that white children were more likely to have access to allergen-free foods than black children (88.1% vs. 59%; P

After adjusting for gender, age, multiple food allergies, household income, parental education, food allergy knowledge score, and site of recruitment, the OR for race declined but with significance borderline (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 0.9 to 6.6).

Strong predictors of access to allergen-free foods included online access (OR = 2.5; 95% CI, 0.9-7.5), current milk allergy (OR = 4, 9; CI, 1.7-13.8) and the current age over 5 years (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1-4.8).

Socioeconomic status was correlated with access, including annual family income of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 (OR = 2.9; 95% CI, 0.9-9.3) or greater than $ 100,000 (OR = 2.5; 95% CI, 0.9 to 7.2) compared to less than $ 50,000. Participants with a bachelor’s degree were also more likely to have access to allergen-free foods than those with a high school diploma (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.1-7.8 ).

“Online food shopping was found to be significantly associated with increased access to allergen-free foods, suggesting that educating caregivers about purchasing food online may be an important intervention for a survey. future, ”concluded Coleman and colleagues.


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