Overheard on CNN.com: More kids do have food allergies
B.J. Hom, center, died of an allergic reaction in 2008. His brothers Brandon, left, and Steven also have susceptibility to allergies.
June 20th, 2011
05:52 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: More kids do have food allergies

Comment of the Day:

"Epi-pens should be right next to fire extinguishers and automatic defibrillators in every restaurant and public building." - JohnOBX

Study: Food allergies more common, more severe among children

If it seems more U.S. children are suffering from food allergies, they are, a new study in the journal Pediatrics reports. The study reaffirms earlier ones showing emergency-room visits have more than doubled for allergic reactions. Other studies suggest that too much cleanliness and too little exposure to allergens may be causes.

Why are food allergies on the rise?

o0hBoy said, "The solution to this problem is counter-intuitive, but people need to expose their toddlers to more germs. Allergies are an immune deficiency due to children not being exposed often enough to, well, basically dirt. Those who develop allergies are the ones who are more sheltered, raised by parents who keep their homes too sanitary."

NotAsecret said, "Newborns need to be brought to a farm, forest, and beach early on in life and be allowed to crawl in the mud, leaves, sand and sun. Hyper protection of seemingly normal children is one of many things to blame."

Binky42 said, "The rates are higher in most developed countries, but the rates in the US are almost double the rates in the UK, with practically identical lifestyles." thinlady asked, "Are the food allergy increases because so much of our food has been genetically altered?"

WossamattaU said, "It's good news for my kids as my house definitely is not too clean."

Guest said, "I was raised in Israel, and I've never even heard of food allergies 'till I was an adult. For some reason food allergies in Israel are almost nonexistent. Israeli babies are practically raised on a peanut finger-food snack called "Bamba" that hasn't changed in 40 years or so. The number of cases of babies that died from that is about zero. lessKCXPat replied, "That babies in Israel are fed a peanut product is the very reason they don't develop an allergy to it."

Many CNN.com readers said allergic reactions were unpredictable and could occur suddenly in adults.

scarlatta said, "Despite being a vegetarian for more than 20 years and in excellent shape, at age 54, after eating peanut butter out of a jar for years, I developed anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, all tree nuts, sunflower, pumpkin, mango and, white potatoes! No cure in sight at my age. The Epi-pen is my new appendage."

klaracan said, "I am severely allergic to sesame since I was 28. Never had allergies as a child. I suffered 3 allergic reactions in form of a rash and abdominal pain and the 4th reaction was a full anaphylactic shock. I almost died in the restaurant. If you see someone with allergic reaction, get help right away. Seconds count!"

debbie149 said, "Dyes are a common source of allergies, and one that nearly killed me. It was the yellow dye in prescription Zantac."

CABill said, "If your kids are allergic to any kind of food you should only feed them food you have personally prepared at your house. When you eat out, if you are severely allergic, you take the risk."

Judge hears case against Georgia's immigration law

A federal judge hopes to issue a written ruling on a Georgia immigration case by July 1, when the law is scheduled to go into effect. House Bill 87, which is aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, allows police to question criminal suspects about their immigration status and allows prison sentences for people who knowingly transport illegal immigrants during the commission of a crime. In a related column, Paul Bridges, a Republican and mayor of the small Georgia town of Uvalda, explains why he is joining the fight against the law.

Why I'm suing Georgia over immigration law

AKRH5 said, "That law doesn't sit right with me."

pmichner said, "Thank you for choosing Yellow Cab. Please remember to present your long form birth certificate and two forms of photo ID before entering the vehicle."

Tonylord said, "What amazes us Georgians is that, although this law will go in effect on July 1st, the police are already asking for proof of legal status during the traffic stops. People at our church have been stopped and asked for documents to prove their immigration status."

KENNNY said, "Now we have a new way of finding out if an immigration law may be illegal: when Republicans fight against a Republican supported law."

But Oldtimer1 said, "The mayor exaggerates the results of this law. The police will not be able to stop just anyone. Individuals questioned have to be criminal suspects." refudiator said, "The law is clear that they would have to be carrying a mop or leaf blower to be considered suspects."

CNN.com readers were divided over whether the law's effect on farm production would be beneficial. Bobby56 said, "So now farmers will pay more for laborers and pass the price increase to consumers. The middle-class just can't win. Anyway, most people are not complaining about the minimum wage jobs lost to illegals, but the good paying jobs that big corporations have transferred overseas."

mightyfine said, "The law is the height of hypocrisy. Americans won't work to pick berries, but we don't want 'those people' who will do it in our country."

Mason32 said, "Wrong, Americans won't work for that low pay to pick berries. They will work for a fair wage, and if you use an American for that job then you also have to pay a payroll tax. I don't understand why the same people who will argue for a minimum-wage hike will also argue for people to come here and work for less then minimum wage."

TRENDING: Bizarre episode steals spotlight at major GOP conference

When Obama impersonator Reggie Brown joked about the president, he got laughs at the Republican Leadership Conference. But when his target moved on to the GOP candidates, he was pulled off the stage. Conference organizers came in for their share of ridicule from CNN.com readers. Many said they "could dish it out but couldn't take it."

Bgrngod said, "The jokes went from 'big lols!' to 'inappropriate rhetoric' the second the target changed hands. Stay classy GOP. Stay classy."

xtl said, "Jokes comparing the president to an uneducated junk collector: funny. Jokes about Boehner and Republican presidential candidates: now you've gone to far, get off the stage!"

Lawrence in PHX said, "The distasteful performance only got 'inappropriate' when he picked on Republicans. That's surprising. I've never thought the Republican party was mean-spirited, had elements of racism, and was in general largely hypocritical."

seneca asked, "Who actually thought it was a good ideal to do this? Hate Obama all you want on his policies but hiring a look alike to make petty appearance jokes for your conference? What really boggles me is that the RNC can't see that the majority of Americans are okay with their fiscal policies but not their social ideals."

Scott Jones said, "Looks like I will vote Democrat the next presidential election, Republicans have gone too far. Here is one vote less for your candidate."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I had terrible allergies as a child, resulting in nearly fatal attacks of asthma that required hospitalization. I lived without wheat for several years, but finally, at about age twelve, told my parents that I could not stand the psychological pressure of being so different. I got used to wheat by determination.
    Now I think that my predisposition to any allergy was the stress of having to live in my parents' violent household.
    Any time I have started to develop another allergy, I willed it away.
    The mind is very powerful.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I had a very good doctor (internist) once who told me, "I hope I do meet some germs in my life, while I'm still young enough to fight them."
    I live by that–it's also relaxing as far as being too fussy about the house is concerned.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    Hi Joey I-F ! Me too and now my only allergy is to my mother. havent spoken to her in years and dont plan on it. Happier and healthier that way.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoundsman

      You and Joey F. are a hoot (but honest). When I'm 91 yrs. old, my mom will still be telling me my room at the
      senior care center is a hopeless mess, I need to eat more veggies, and will be giving that lady friend in the wheelchair
      a "you're not good enough for my son" look. Ma! You beec*cough, cough-ack!??!^$%$#!

      June 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sharon

    I developed an allergy to sesame at the age of 31, each attack is worse than before. I have eaten sesame my entire life. I have seasonal allergies but not allergic to any other foods. My daughter 16 recently found out she was allergic to pineapple. I think the reason food allergies on the rise is because of genetically engineered food also.

    June 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    Yeah, I really don't believe that people should play backseat scientist here. Considering that the vast majority of Americans are still food allergy free, maybe it's not the engineered food. Maybe it's more of a weaker genetic strain in these individuals.

    June 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GCNYC

    Genetically modified foods are going to kill us all.

    June 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • MP

      I totally agree with you. We need to go back to eating naturally and quit playing with our food. I drank milk straight from the bulk tank for 18 years without stomach issues. Then I went to college and started to drink pasteurized milk. Didn't find out until recently (20+ years later) that the milk is what has caused major issues with my digestive system. Even our gluten foods wouldn't be so bad, yet it is so genetically altered that it no longer resembles the same wheat my grandmother baked with 50 years ago. I can't allow my son to eat french fries at McDonald's in the US, but he could in Canada because they don't add gluten to their fries. Sad how we have to add all these extra things to our food all in the name of making taste better, last longer, blah, blah, blah. Even our fruit has been genetically altered to taste sweeter...and it's not just allergies on the rise. My son is on the autism spectrum–the numbers are increasing there as well...changing his diet has helped tremendously. The more natural we eat, the better he (and the rest of us) feel. I'm told that as long as people "demand" convenience, our foods will continue to be processed beyond their natural state all in the name of getting it to the table faster. We Americans have done it to ourselves.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anon

    Th real reason food allergies are on the rise is due to genetic engineering. These "scientists" think they have nature all figured out but they really are clueless. The franken foods are what is causing these allergies. What do you expect to happen when you design food crops to produce their own insecticides?

    June 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CBR

    Things are changing and people are learning more and more about food allergies which can cause an anaphylatic reaction. Good friends and family members help Those people who suffer allergic reactions to foods usually keep this info to themselves unless they are in a restaurant and need to know if a certain food item is included in your choice of entree. People thought we were faking our allergies.

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Troll:
    Nice try, but no bites on your line, and the sun's gonna go down soon. See? We're making a fire to boil the shrimp by the creek, and the grown folks have taken out their Cokes and mystery flasks.
    You're becoming more observant of personalities, but work on your subtleties of writing style.

    June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sneed, Los Angeles, ca

    Anybody else find it strange that the major foos alergies; Soy, penut, and gluten all have seeds that are genetically alterd by Monsanto almost exclusively. My theory is, we have eaten these foods as staples for thousands of years and now they have changed. Our bodies do not know how to cope with these man made coruptions, hence the rise in allegies and cancers.

    June 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      You theory makes far more sense than "allergies are caused by kids not playing in the dirt."

      (I played in the dirt as a kid and never had allergies. I have developed a few food allergies in my late 30's after my baby was born.)

      June 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Melissa

    Believe me, I grew up in a house that was by no means too sanitary, it wasn't a dump but we weren't cleaning everything with bleach and vacuuming and dusting all the time like I see some people do. We played outside in the dirt and mud, we were taken to the beach, we had dogs and cats in the house, yet I still have a dairy allergy and my sister has a peanut allergy. People with dirty houses and you have gotten plenty dirty have food allergies too.

    June 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Teri

    I used to believe lack of exposure was what caused allergies, too. However, a friend of mine has a little girl that is allergic to probably 2 dozen food items, not to mention cats and lots of grasses/trees. This kid grew up on a farm and has played with animals and in the dirt since she was born.

    June 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. revinger

    allergies everywhere and in the general population are on the rise. the more we pollute the planet and alter the ecosystem and rely on synthetic everything, the more we get sick.

    June 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    But seriously, folks...
    The only times my allergies try to act up, I'm under a lot of stress.
    Then I "think" them away: TRIUMPH DES WILLENS all over again.
    For me, they are, using Adele Davis's term, "stress diseases."

    June 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. srichey

    Remove gluten, sugar and processed food from the kid's diets. That's a good place to start.

    June 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
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