Health Watch - Dangerous Food: Allergy Attitudes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about nutritious foods that can be dangerous for some people or in some circumstances. Food allergies can be life-threatening, and parents whose children have these allergies have to monitor what their children eat. What happens when children start making their own food choices?

You’d think that knowing you had a potentially deadly allergy to a food would make you want to avoid it, but that’s not always the case. Teens have the highest risk for a severe allergic reaction but Dr. Pam Okada, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this age group is prone to doing crazy things. Studies have shown that teens may deliberately eat foods they’re allergic to, whether because they think they’ve outgrown the allergy or because they give in to peer pressure to try the forbidden food. Dr. Okada says people with food allergies should carry an EpiPen, which carries a dose of medicine to quickly stop an allergic reaction.


July 2011

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