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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do American Kids Have Higher Rates of Asthma, Allergies?

There aren’t many things as American as hot dogs, baseball and apple pie, but you soon might want to add allergies and asthma to the list.

In a study that checked more than 90,000 kids around the world between 0 and 17 years of age, JAMA Pediatrics learned that American kids have higher incidences of auto-immune diseases and conditions including asthma, eczema, hay fever and allergies to foods.

The rate of incidence in allergy-related disease among American children is nearly 34% while the next highest areas of the world check in at about 20%.

The reasons for this higher allergy rate could be attributed to many factors. But one of the most pressing and interesting ideas is that American kids are simply kept too clean at too young of an age. The seeming obsession with germ prevention in America may be affecting the ability of children to develop natural immunities.

Strangely children who had lived outside America and were brought into the United States after more than 10 years of living in another country saw their allergy risk spike by up to three times the incidence compared to their countries of origin.

That suggests factors other than germs alone may be at work contributing to higher allergy and asthma incidences among children.

The Western diet has been blamed for its ironic dependence on heavy additives and artificial flavorings rather than more organic diets with natural spices to give flavor to foods, and green tea, a natural body cleanser, for beverages.

Climate, higher incidence of obesity, lack of exercise and strains of infections may be affecting children in the states as well.

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