Numerous studies have demonstrated that the prevalence of food allergy is increasing. Not only are more children being diagnosed with food allergies, but studies suggest that when people outgrow their food allergies, it is taking longer than was previously thought. Studies in recent years have noted factors that may lead to a lower likelihood of developing a food allergy, including the early introduction of common food allergens, having a sufficient vitamin D level, or having a higher maternal intake of peanut early in pregnancy. Given a recent report that sensitization to common food allergens did not increase from the late 1980s/early 1990s to the mid-2000s, further studies will need to examine if the rise in food allergy prevalence is due to a change in the relationship between sensitization and clinical allergy or changes in the recognition and diagnosis of food allergy.
Keywords: Food allergy; Food-specific IgE; Natural history; Prevalence; Prevention; Skin prick testing.