Research

Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy
AAFA Announces Co-Sponsorship of National Academy of Medicine Study on Food Allergy

[Press Release]

The Consensus Committee will examine critical issues and develop a framework for future direction of increasing public awareness, promoting research and identifying research gaps for food allergy

July 1, 2015, WASHINGTON, DC – Food allergy—a potentially life-threatening condition with no known cure—affects nearly 15 million people in the United States, including 1 in 13 children. Although much has been learned about food allergy management and treatment, there are still many unanswered questions. To address these gaps in knowledge, research and data, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) announces its co-sponsorship of a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) consensus study on food allergy.

The study, "Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy," will engage a broad array of stakeholders, including government agencies, academic institutions, industries, policy makers, and patient organization groups in addition to bringing together leading investigators from relevant fields, clinicians, and parents to review issues surrounding food allergy. These issues include the prevalence, severity, and impact of food allergy, as well as the current understanding of food allergy in diagnostics, treatments, prevention and public policy.

"We know how important research is to the food allergy community," says Lynda Mitchell, AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Community Services, and founder of Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of AAFA. "The Institute of Medicine is a highly respected national adviser of issues on issues related to medicine and health. This is an important study for the food allergy community. AAFA is honored to co-sponsor the project along with several government organizations, as well as other industry and patient advocacy stakeholders."

This study will create a framework for raising public awareness about food allergy and make recommendations on the future direction of food allergy research. AAFA’s participation and involvement in this IOM project further signifies AAFA’s commitment to serve individuals, families, and communities affected by the disease.

The committee’s first meeting was held on June 22, and AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Policy and Research, Meryl Bloomrosen, presented to the committee. A final report is expected to be issued in approximately 16 months.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Read more about the IOM study.

For more information about food allergy, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

About AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. AAFA provides practical information, community-based services and support through a national network of chapters and support groups. AAFA organizes state and national advocacy efforts, provides health education, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. For more information, visit www.aafa.org.

About KFA

Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. KFA is dedicated to keeping children with food allergies safe and healthy until a cure for food allergy is found. KFA is an essential part of the food allergy and anaphylaxis community offering free education programs for families and caregivers, webinars, an allergy buyers’ guide, an electronic database of allergen-free recipes and more. Most notably, KFA’s website hosts the largest and most active online food allergy and anaphylaxis community, a critical platform for parents and caregivers who want to network with others about raising kids with food allergies and related diseases. KFA has been educating and supporting families since 2005. KFA became a division of AAFA in 2013. For more information visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.