All babies are unfortunately at risk for developing a food allergy as living in the modern world has changed our susceptibility. Food allergies in The United States have doubled every single decade for the last 30 years.
Increased risk factors for food allergies:
- Eczema. Research shows that babies with eczema can be over 600% more likely to develop a food allergy. In fact, it’s the number one risk factor for developing food allergies – representing an even bigger risk than having a family history of allergies. Babies with eczema may be exposed or introduced to food particles through their broken-down skin, possibly creating the cascade of reactions generating an allergy. Food is better introduced to a baby by eating and entering their GI tract during early infancy (e.g., 4 to 6 months of age when a baby shows readiness for solid foods).
- Delaying food introduction. Research shows that if a parent delays potential allergen introduction after a baby is 12 months, the baby's risk of food allergy sensitization increases by up to 400%. If they wait until 18 months, the risk is up to 700%.
- Gender. Research shows that females are at a 167% increased risk of developing a food allergy when compared to males.
- Ethnicity/Race. Research shows that Asians (128%), Blacks (120%), Hispanic (120%), and Multiple/Other (154%) are at increased risk of developing a food allergy when compared to Whites.