US-based research published last month has found that children living in population-dense cities are more likely to have food allergies than those living in rural areas.
The study, published in Clinical Pediatrics and featured in a recent article on Foodnavigator.com, was based on 34,465 children ages 18 and younger using ZIP codes and population data from the 2004 census.
Specifically, the food allergy map illustrated that those living in urban centers were more than twice as likely to develop peanut and shellfish allergies as those living in rural communities. The severity of the allergy, however, was neither heightened nor diminished by the child's locale.
"This shows that environment has an impact on developing food allergies," Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine told Foodnavigator.com, and noted similar trends related to asthma.