New Data Analysis Shows Possible Link between Childhood Obesity and Allergies

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A new study indicates there may be yet another reason to reduce childhood obesity — it may help prevent allergies. The study published in the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that obese children and adolescents are at increased risk of having some kind of allergy, especially to a food. The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

Comment: In this study, the researchers analyzed data from 4,111 children and young adults aged 2-19 years of age. They looked at total and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) or antibody levels to a large panel of indoor, outdoor and food allergens, body weight, and responses to a questionnaire about diagnoses of hay fever, eczema, and allergies. Obesity was defined as being in the 95th percentile of the body mass index for the child’s age. The researchers found the IgE levels were higher among children who were obese or overweight. Obese children were about 26 percent more likely to have allergies than children of normal weight.

“The signal for allergies seemed to be coming mostly from food allergies. The rate of having a food allergy was 59 percent higher for obese children,” said NIEHS researcher Stephanie London, M.D., a co-author on the study.

Visness CM, London SJ, Daniels JL, Kaufman JS, Yeatts KB, Siega-Riz AM, Liu AH, Calatroni A, Zeldin DC. Association of obesity with IgE levels and allergy symptoms in children and adolescents: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. May, 2009. Doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.1126. View Abstract

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • dawn Connors
    March 30, 2014 5:40 pm

    Lke most children,my daughter came off infant formula and started drinking cows milk at 12 months. We played outside most if the time. She napped for an hour or so and her bed time was 7:30 pm. She would get up around 7 am. By the time my daughter was 18 months old she had gained so much weight that I started my quest of what was wrong with my child. She had gained and has continued to gain about 2 lbs a month for the last several years. YEARS!

    We have seen doctors and a nutritionist at Schneiders children hospital (free cortisol test–I had to have my daughter spit a teaspoon of spit into a cup at midnight for the best gauge of cortisol); myself, my husband and my daughter were enrolled in a type 2 diabetes-/morbid obesity genetic study at Morgan Stanley, Cornell Weil at Columbia Presbyterian hospital- negative on the primary, secondary and tertiary obese gene.

    I consulted NY Magazine’s Best Doctors in the country list and went to them. We saw Dr. Ten at Maimodes Hospital and Dr, Wilson at Stonybrook.

    Have NEVER bought juice or sugared soda. I cook mostly from scratch so that I can regulate sodium and fats. We walk and bike and play outside. AND STILL SHE GAINED WEIGHT. Hell, salad and brussel sprouts are REQUESTED in my home.

    And a month ago I saw a Dr. Oz episode that told us that food intolerances can make you fat. As an infant, while still in the hospital because she was just born, my daughter got such explosive diarrhea from infant formula that the pediatrician put her on soy. Her stools were so hard that I had to squeeze them out of her because they were so painful and hard that she couldn’t pass them herself. If I could have afforded the Alumentin I would have given her that. She has had a respiration test. We have walked into an allerergist’s office at Columbia University only to be told at FIRST SIGHT that it was not an allergy that was causing the weight gain. I have kept a food diary and was told by one exceptionally stupid doctor that instead if giving her 2 Oreos for dessert (2 TWO NOT sleeves or packages or boxes) I should give her celery instead. I asked him if his kids hated him. I called a doctor in Michigan who did a HUGE study on PCOS and asked him if these women had weight issues and or hormonal issues as toddlers. My daughter has 6 page blood tests to find if the issue is glaringly real in her blood. She has been tested for Cushing’s and Addison’s syndrome and has had a sonogram of her thyroid. Everything is negative but STILL I try to solve this problem. It is the comorbidities of obesity that I am terrified of.

    My daughter is 10 years old and 197 lbs. She does not over eat nor does she sneak food. 4 weeks ago I took my daughter off ALL dairy. Today I took her off gluten. In the past 4 weeks my daughter has gone from pooping 5 times a day, EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 9 YEARS, to once a day. My point?

    TRY INVESTIGATING food sensitivities/intolerances causing morbid obesity rather than the other way around.


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