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Food allergies are on this rise, and this somewhat 'frightening' method might combat them
This method caused peanut allergy rates fall 81 percent, according to CNN. But some parents might think the approach is counterintuitive. - photo by Payton Davis
Parents given the opportunity to reduce their children's chances of developing food allergies by 81 percent with one step would probably view doing so as a no-brainer.

However, that one step might seem "frightening and counter-intuitive," according to NBC News: giving babies peanut products to prevent peanut allergies later on.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cited research from the National Institutes of Health in a statement that detailed the strategy to combat allergies. The AAP suggests giving children between the ages of 4 and 11 months creamy peanut butter and "graduating to peanuts in their whole form" at age 4, since peanuts are a choking hazard, Tanya Basu of Time wrote.

According to NBC News, "really high-risk babies," those who have shown an allergy to eggs, should consume peanut products under a pediatrician's supervision.

The study, published earlier this year, includes statistics that should put parents' minds at ease and proves to be landmark in regards to a growing health issue, Lizzie Parry of the MailOnline reported.

"The findings revealed that children who eat food containing peanuts three or more times a week from under the age of one rarely have reactions in later life," Parry wrote. "Less than 1 percent developed an allergy, compared with more than 17 percent of youngsters whose diet was peanut-free."

Parry also noted the number of cases of peanut allergies in children has doubled in 20 years.

But rates in the U.S. are even more pronounced, according to the NBC News' article.

About 5 percent of children in the U.S. have food allergies, and "prevalence might have tripled" in the country, Maggie Fox of NBC News wrote.

Maura Hohman of U.S. News & World Report wrote the AAP's new guidance comes 15 years after it counseled parents to wait until later to feed babies foods linked to allergies.

Children with food allergies rose 50 percent in the 10 years following that counsel, however, making new studies on the issue necessary, the U.S. News & World Report article said.

"Twenty years ago, I'd say, 'avoid, avoid, avoid,'" Alkis Togias, branch chief of the Allergy, Asthma and Airway Biology Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Hohman. "But this strict approach does not seem to have worked."
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