There’s mounting evidence that Asian Americans may be more susceptible to food allergies, although not all agree, reports KQED.
Findings published in Pediatrics in 2011 indicated that Asian children are 30 percent more likely to have allergies to peanuts and twice as likely to be allergic to shell fish than other Americans.
The Center of Disease Control & Prevention also reported 90 percent of East Asians are lactose intolerant, making it difficult to digest milk.
So are Asian Americans more likely to have food allergies?
“It doesn’t seem to have any proclivity towards one ethnicity versus another or one child versus another,” says Kari Nadeau MD ,Ph.D., who is director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford Universit.
Personally, my wife is allergic to shellfish, my son is allergic to tree nuts and my daughter can’t have dairy. Several of my nephews and nieces also have food allergies, making the menu at family get-togethers difficult.
Whether evidence of food allergies in Asian Americans is anecdotal or scientific, to many families, its real.
Sharon Wong once fed her son soup when he was ill thinking it would make him feel better. Instead, he became sicker.
“He ate it and then threw up, and I saw that he was scratching his belly,” she says.
That’s when she learned for the first time her son was allergic to peanuts.
Brian Hom’s son died from something he ate at a restaurant.
You can read about that on KQED and read about why food allergies in Asian American present unique cultural problems.