If you thought it only seemed like every other kid had allergies, it turns out that they do. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 3 million U.S. children have a food or digestive allergy — an 18 percent increase over the past 10 years.” The CDC also says that slightly more girls (4.1 percent) than boys (3.8 percent) have some sort of allergy.
What I wonder is how common food allergies are outside of the United States. As Chris Rock said, “We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to sh*t. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a f**king lactose intolerance?!” Obviously someone in a less developed country could have an undiagnosed allergy, but it’s an interesting question.
The article also doesn’t say what they think the cause of this allergic increase is, or offer a theory as to whether or not these allergies were always there and just went undetected. (It does, however, mean that when that mother leaps across the table at you during a birthday party and screams, “BUT MY CHILD IS ALLERGIC!” she’s probably telling the truth. But it’s still OK for you to wish she’d just tell you calmly.) There’s also some good news: “Most children outgrow” their allergies to food, they say.
Frankly, I wish I were allergic to Autumn Mix candy corns. That would make it a hell of a lot easier to stop eating them. Maybe.