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Weird But True: Study Shows Wealthy Kids More Prone To Peanut Allergies

Food allergies. As a parent, there are fewer things scarier than the idea that something as innocuous as a common food ingredient could be deadly to your child!

Since serious food allergies have been on the rise in recent years, researchers are busily studying potential reasons as to why some kids suffer lethal food allergies and others don’t. A report from LiveScience cited a study which found a distinct relationship between a income and food allergies. Namely, the wealthier families (those with annual income of more than $75,000) were more likely to have kids who suffer peanut allergies!

According to Discovery Health, a possible explanation for the connection between income and peanut allergies is the “Hygiene Hypothesis,” which points to the negative effect cleaner environments have on our immune systems — as it reasons that households with more wealth tend to be kept cleaner.

Pediatric allergist at the University of Michigan Health System Marc McMorris explains, "We’ve developed a cleanlier lifestyle, and our bodies no longer need to fight germs as much as they did in the past. As a result, the immune system has shifted away from fighting infection to developing more allergic tendencies."

What do you think — can we blame Purell for all those peanut allergies? Weigh in below!

Source: LiveScience, Discovery Health

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11.20.2012 / 05:58 AM EDT by Daynah Burnett
Related: Moms, Health

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