Urban kids more susceptible to food allergies

Study determined that 9.8% of city kids have a food allergy, compared to 6.2% in rural areas.

June 13—According to new research food allergies are more common in kids who live in a city than those who live in more rural areas.

The new study, conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is the first to map children's food allergies by where they live in the United States, according to the researchers. They surveyed parents of nearly 38,500 kids younger than 18, asking for their zip codes and details on their child's food allergy.

The researchers determined that in urban centers, almost 9.8% of children had food allergies, compared with 6.2% of children in rural communities. Specifically, city children were twice as likely to have peanut (2.8% compared to 1.3%) and shellfish allergies (2.4% compared to 0.8%) compared to their rural counterparts. Based on the survey, the states with the highest prevalence of food-allergic kids were Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.