THE MORNING SHOW
The Peanut Allergy Epidemic:
What’s Causing It And How To Stop It
October 17, 2011
Why is the peanut allergy an epidemic that only seems to be found in Western cultures? Where did it come from? Do pharmaceuticals play a role in the disturbing phenomenon? Historian Heather Fraser tackles these gripping questions and more in The Peanut Allergy Epidemic: What’s Causing It and How to Stop It.
How is it that there are over three million people in the United States who have an allergy to peanuts, but there are virtually no reported cases in India, where peanuts are the primary ingredient in many baby foods? Fraser asks this and other bold questions, in an attempt to answer why and how the epidemic has occurred. Among the extensive research and potential risk factors explored in The Peanut Allergy Epidemic are:
· Geography – can where you live make you more or less inclined to become allergic to peanuts?
· Gender – is the allergy more common in boys or in girls? Is this significant?
· Race – does the peanut allergy affect any one race more than the others? What could this mean?
· Maternal age at delivery – does this have any impact on predisposition to allergies?
· Heredity – is the peanut allergy partly genetic?
· Vaccines – does the use of peanut oil in vaccines make children more likely to become allergic?
· Hygiene – can the peanut allergy be avoided through better hygiene practices?
· And much, much more!
After her own child had an anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter at thirteen months of age, Fraser needed to know why. The result is a fact-based, passionate, and accessible volume that comprehensively reveals the complete history, possible causes, and glaring inconsistencies associated with the exponentially growing and increasingly severe cases of allergic reactions to peanuts in Western cultures.
In The Peanut Allergy Epidemic, Fraser delves into the history of this rapidly growing condition, and uncovers the first allergy epidemic that occurred in children over 100 years ago. Her research also pinpoints the moment around 1990 that the number of incidents of peanut allergy suddenly increased in children and explores the complex weave of social, medical, political, and economic factors that support its persistence.
The Peanut Allergy Epidemic is full of courageous questions and unvarnished answers. It is a shocking must-read for every parent, teacher, and health professional struggling to understand, accommodate, and enhance the lives of the millions of people suffering from peanut allergies in this country.
heather fraser, vaccines and allergies, esp. peanuts, oct 17