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Information on Diagnosed Food Allergies Shows Racial Disparities

In comparison to other racial and ethnic groups, Black children and adults have a higher risk of developing food allergies, according to recent studies.

According to a survey released on Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics, 5.3% of white children and 5% of Hispanic children were estimated to have food allergies in 2021, compared to 7.6% of Black youth aged 17 and under. Researchers found that the incidence of food allergies among Asian children was 6.6%, which was not statistically different from the prevalence among Hispanic or white children.

According to the analysis, which was based on information from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey, nearly 1 in 17 kids in the U.S. had a food allergy in that year. The prevalence was 5.9% for males and 5.8% for girls, which is comparable. According to a 2013 study, food allergies in children in the U.S. cost the economy close to $25 billion a year.

Food allergies are more common in children as they become older; in 2021, 7.1% of children aged 12 to 17 had one, compared to 5.8% of children aged 6 to 11 and 4.4% of children aged 5 and under.

A second survey released on Thursday revealed similar racial or ethnic disparities in food allergies among adults, with 8.5% of Black people having a food allergy in 2021 compared to 6.2% of White, 4.5% of Asian, and 4.4% of Hispanic individuals.

According to the research, 6.2% of persons nationwide experienced a food allergy in 2021. Compared to 4.6% of men, over 8% of women reported having a food allergy. In 2021, 4.5% of people aged 75 and over and 5.1% of people in the 65–74 age range were diagnosed with a food allergy, compared to 6.7% of people aged 45–64 and 6.6% of people in the 18–44 age group.

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