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.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Managing Your Business
studient orientation

When an alma mater and an employer are one in the same, it can be a win-win for both the employee and the school. Here’s how two students’ experiences with campus dining—one positive and the other negative—led them on a path to their current jobs.

A Feast to Remember

NC State University’s main campus in Raleigh, N.C. was built on farmland given to the state by Richard Stanhope Pullen; every spring, students gather to celebrate those agricultural roots through Farm Feast, an outdoor celebration with food and music. Design major Christin King remembers her first Farm Feast vividly: “...

Ideas and Innovation
nutrition facts label

Despite operators’ attempts to communicate nutrition information to guests via cards and labels on the food line, many guests still feel they have no clue what’s in their food. University of Illinois food economist Brenna Ellison shares a few guesses as to why consumers ignore these signs following a recent study on their placement in dining halls.

Q: Who is most likely to read the cards?

A: Students who were already exhibiting more healthy behaviors. So those were the students who track their intake using an app or a food diary. After the first week, we found the rates of people...

FSD Resources