For years the medical community maintained that delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods might help prevent food allergy. But a new body of literature indicates that the opposite might actually be true: early introduction (at less than one year of life) might actually be protective against later food allergy.
A meta-analysis published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 146 previously conducted studies that analyzed over 200,000 children. The researchers found that compared to later introduction of the respective foods:
- Introduction of peanuts between 4-11 months resulted in a 30% reduced risk of peanut allergy
- Introduction of eggs between 4-6 months resulted in a 70% reduced risk of egg allergy
Of course some precautions still need to be taken:
- Parents and caregivers of a baby who already has a food allergy or food-related eczema should take additional precautions
- Parents and caregivers of a baby who is at high risk for developing food allergy (usually because of established food allergy in other family members) should seek additional advice from their primary caregiver
For more information on food allergy visit the Food Allergy Resource and Education (FARE) website.
Fall is upon us and the holidays are just around the corner. With the season of overeating just on the horizon, it bears mentioning that the typical American gains about a pound from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. That might not sound like much, but year in and year out, that pound adds up and can be a significant contributor to overweigh and obesity.
If it’s any consolation, N. Americans are not alone. In a letter posted in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, researchers posited that weight gain over the holidays is a universal problem. Whether its Thanksgiving in the US, Christmas in Germany or Golden Week in Japan, weight gain was almost an inevitability.
While the authors pointed out that most people lose about half of that holiday weight gain in the first few weeks of the New Year…half is not all…and half may still be a problem if you habitually put on weight in the holidays.
Here are a few tips to put in the back of your mind as we roll into holiday party season:
- Don’t go to a party hungry – snack before so you don’t show up famished
- Bring a healthy dish to share – of course ask the host ahead but why not contribute something you know you can safely eat?
- Back your booze up with water – don’t guzzle high calorie cocktails, slow your roll with a big glass of water in between drinks
- Relocate away from the food – out of sight, out of mind, don’t post up too close to the food if you default to grazing when you’re not really hungry