A new study suggests that food allergies could affect children’s growth. The researchers speculate that this effect could be due to strict avoidance of foods that may trigger a reaction.
The study involved 245 children with food allergies. Researchers found that children with allergies were smaller than other children, and those with more than two allergies were even smaller than those who were allergic to just one or two foods.
It was also found that children with a milk allergy were smaller than those with allergies to other food types.
Study author Dr. Brian Vickery noted, “A greater number of food allergies translates into a greater number of dietary restrictions.”
Findings stress the need for dietary assessment and intervention
Study author Dr. A. Wesley Burks said in a news release:
The relationships uncovered between food-allergic children, particularly those with more than two and those suffering from milk allergy, and the examined growth markers stress the need for nutritional assessment and intervention to ensure that food allergies do not contribute to any growth delay.
Although the study did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship, it did reveal one area that may have previously been overlooked when treating childhood food allergies. More research is needed to determine how food allergies may be affecting children’s growth and what can be done to mitigate this effect.