Today in the United States alone, more than 12 million people or 4 percent of the adult population and more than 3 million children suffer from some form of food allergy. With incidence of food allergy rising annually in the double digits, the rising numbers of allergy sufferers is triggering alarm bells among paediatricians, allergists and parents around the world.
“The grocery store has gone from being a minefield to being an interesting adventure. Shopping for my highly allergic grandchildren was a dangerous and frustrating activity — reading labels, deciphering the contents of ingredients, checking the environment in which the food is produced – it’s all time consuming and a mistake can be life threatening. Now, MyFoodfacts™ alerts us to the dangerous foods and gives us instant information to protect our children. For the first time, we can feel safer with the food choices we are making,” said Irene O’Toole, grandmother to children with food allergies.
According to a November 2009 report by the Office Journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics, government researchers found that self-reported food allergies increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007. Healthcare visits for food allergies in children nearly tripled between two time periods studied: 1992 through 1997 and 2003 through 2006. In the later period, U.S. children had an average of 317,000 visits to healthcare settings per year for food allergies.
“Six to eight percent of children in the UK today suffer from potentially anaphylactic reactions to food and a similar number are also avoiding foods due to delayed allergies. Shopping for the food allergic child can be a nightmare and anything that makes it quicker and easier without compromising safety has real value. MyFoodFacts™ will make a really positive impact on the lives of my patients and their families,” said Dr. Adam T. Fox, Paediatric Allergy Consultant at St. Thomas’ Hospital, in London, UK.
“The mainstay of treatment for food allergies is the strict avoidance of the offending foods. This can be extremely challenging and time consuming for patients. Typically a nut allergic patient spends 40 percent more time shopping, because they have to read every food label. Registered dieticians spend a significant amount of time with allergic patients, reinforcing the importance of identifying offending foods. MyFoodFacts™ will not only alert the patient to foods they are allergic to, but also compliment dietetic input,” says Dr. Rosan Meyer, Paediatric Dietician and world recognized expert on infant and child nutrition. “MyFoodFacts™ is also very easy to use and well tuned to assist people in their shopping experience.”