The more support adolescents have from friends and family, the less likely a lot of risky behaviors are, but now a study has specifically linked food allergy risk-taking and support networks. When teenagers have supportive friends and family, they are far less likely to take risks with their food allergies, a study says.
Food-induced allergic reactions are most common in adolescents and young adults, accounting for about 70 percent of food allergy-related deaths in the U.S.
Students who had an individualized accommodation plan at school were less likely to take risks with food allergies.
The study found that students with a “504 plan” at school were far less likely to take allergy-related risks. On the other hand, many parents and students are unaware that 504 plans are mandated or available to them. Educational efforts were called for by the study’s authors.
The study surveyed 200 adolescents and young adults with food allergies. “It was encouraging to find that despite considerable difficulties, adolescents and young adults also perceive positive aspects of living with food allergy, such as being more responsible and better advocates for themselves and others, as well as eating healthier,” said senior author Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, pediatrician and researcher at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.