Food allergy is a growing public health concern. As many as 15 million people have food allergies and nearly 6 million of children have food allergies, with children affected the most. The prevalence of food allergies and associated anaphylaxis appears to be on the rise with peanut allergy among children appears to have tripled between 1997 and 2008. Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Although childhood allergies to milk, egg, wheat and soy generally resolve in childhood, they appear to be resolving more slowly than in previous decades, with many children still allergic beyond age 5 years. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish are generally lifelong allergies.