The Prevalence of Food Allergies in Children Referred to a Multidisciplinary Feeding Program

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Oct;54(11):1081-6. doi: 10.1177/0009922815593499. Epub 2015 Jun 29.


Objective: To assess the prevalence of food allergy in children presenting to a multidisciplinary feeding program.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted from 302 patients. We recorded history of food reaction, family history of any atopic disease, radioallergosorbent testing, prematurity, birth weight, breastfeeding history, Z-scores, age, and gastrointestinal mucosal biopsy reports with eosinophilic infiltrate. Three categories of possible food allergy were stratified based on increasing evidence of allergy.

Results: Possible food allergy was found for 18% (n = 54), likely food allergy for 6% (n = 18), and very likely food allergy for 16% (n = 47) for a total of 40% classified in a food allergy group. Having been breastfed correlated with likelihood of food allergy but tube-feeding dependence did not.

Conclusion: This study revealed a higher proportion of children in a feeding program with food allergy compared to the general population, but larger prospective studies are needed to confirm the association.

Keywords: atopy; childhood feeding disorder; food allergy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders of Childhood / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Retrospective Studies