The rate of food allergies around the world is increasing. The rise in food allergies has affected western countries most.
Especially children are at risk. In some cases, allergies can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening situations. More and more families must change their diets in order to fight allergies. Children can be allergic to various types of food, above all, milk and dairy products, nuts , and fish.
Allergies are caused by allergens , which are basically harmless substances that the immune system tries to fight . Victims suffer from a variety of symptoms including redness of the skin, vomiting, diarrhea and breathing difficulties.
In the United States 8% of children have some form of allergy. In Australia, 5% of all children are affected. The UK has seen a 500% increase in peanut allergies alone in the past 20 years.
While industrialized countries are hardest hit, allergy rates in developing countries are lower. Cities are affected more than rural areas.
Scientists have been trying to find out why we are becoming more allergic to food. One reason may be improved hygiene , which leads to children having fewer infections. Another cause may be the lack of vitamin D which helps our immune system fight allergies.
At the moment a food allergy cannot be cured. In addition, it is very difficult to determine which food children are allergic to. Doctors recommend eating small amounts of possibly allergic food and observe how the body reacts .
- above all = mostly
- affect = to do something that causes a change in a certain situation
- allergen = material that causes an allergy
- cause = lead to ; to be the reason for
- cure = to make an illness go away
- dairy products = products that are made from milk , like cheese, joghurt etc..
- developing country = poor country of the Third World
- determine = find out
- diarrhea = an illness in which body waste comes out in a watery, liquid form
- diet =the kind of food that you eat every day
- especially = above all
- harmless = not dangerous
- hygiene = when you keep yourself and the things around you clean in order to prevent diseases
- immune system = the system by which our body protects itself against diseases and illnesses
- improve = to make better
- in addition = also
- increase = to go up
- infection = a disease that affects your body and is caused by a virus or bacteria
- lack = not enough
- life-threatening = very dangerous ; a situation that can lead to death
- observe= watch something very closely
- peanut = pale, brown nut with a thin shell that grows under the ground
- rate = the number of times something happens
- rural = in the countryside
- scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
- substance = material
- symptom = sign that a health problem exists
- various = different
- variety = many different types
- victim = here: a person who suffers from an allergy
- vomit = to bring up the food you eat from your stomach through your mouth , because yo are ill