New hope for kids with peanut allergies & the rest of us

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A new study in Great Britain shows great promise that children who are allergic to peanuts can be treated out of it.

This is hopeful news for the one in 50 children globally who suffer from peanut allergies. But it’s also good news for all the others who do not, and here’s why. A 30-year study at Harvard that made the news in the fall showed that people who eat nuts on a regular basis are less likely to die of cancer, heart disease or to die at all (well, during the years of the study). In fact the more nuts eaten, the less the risk. Nuts are really good for you! (This is vindication big time for nuts, which were vilified during our national fat-phobic phase by all those folks telling us to eat more carbs. I hate to say I told you so, but … I digress.)

Great news, right? And I bet there are a lot of adults who include nuts in their diets. But kids? Not so much, and you know why? Because even if they themselves do not have a nut allergy, they probably have classmates or kids on their sports teams or at day care or the Y or whatever who do. Peanuts in particular and nuts of all kinds are no longer regularly available for kids to eat. Just try and find a pack of peanuts in a vending machine. If a person isn’t exposed to a food as a child, it lessens the chance they’ll embrace it as an adult. And right now peanuts and nuts also suffer from a bad reputation of sorts with the young crowd and their families because of the concern for kids with peanut allergies. So here’s this really great food group, nuts, that kids should be eating, but there’s a very good chance they are not and so they’re missing out on the health benefits they bring.

So it’ll be a great if this new treatment does indeed end peanut/nut allergies for the sufferers and all the rest of us, particularly children.

— Sue Ontiveros

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