Food allergy trends at the crossing among socio-economics, history and geography

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The epidemiology of food allergy did inspire theories on the reasons for the recent surge of the disease. We offer here a reasoned review on the relationships between the trajectories of human development and the trend of the food allergy epidemics.

Recent findings

The exponential trend of the frequency of food allergy paralleled the explosive acceleration of the human development over the last few decades. Dietary factors have been indicated as responsible for these trends and targeted for potential preventive strategies. Other socio-economic factors have been related to this evolution: solar exposure, climate changes, structure of societies, reproductive choices and societal inequalities.

Summary

The epidemiologic associations of food allergy suggest different causal theories. Future prevention strategies may be predicated not only on dietary interventions, but on wider programmes aimed to restore a human ecology promoting food tolerance.

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