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Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies

Little evidence supports common strategies for preventing allergic reactions, new report concludes

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5:19pm, November 30, 2016
common food allergies

WATCH WHAT YOU EAT  Peanuts, eggs and other foods can cause allergic reactions in people, but the public and medical community are confused when it comes to preventing, diagnosing and treating such allergies, says a new report.

Our grasp of food allergy science is as jumbled as a can of mixed nuts. While there are tantalizing clues on how food allergies emerge and might be prevented, misconceptions are plentiful and broad conclusions are lacking, concludes a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

As a result, both the general public and medical community are confused and ill-informed about food allergies and what to do about them. Most prevention strategies and many tests used to diagnose a food allergy aren’t supported by scientific evidence and should be abandoned, the 562-page report concludes.

“We are much more in the dark than we thought,” says Virginia Stallings, a coeditor of the new report, released November 30.

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