Kids with food allergies at risk of bullying

Children and adolescents with food allergies are more likely to be a target of bullying than their peers without food allergies, a new review of research shows.


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Food allergy is an increasing phenomenon in Australia, with most recent reports putting the incidence at one in 12 children.

Recent evidence suggests that children with food allergies also experience an increased occurrence of bullying compared to other school-aged children. Some children reported being bullied because of their allergies and others were taunted, for example, by being touched with the food they were allergic to, or had their food contaminated with an allergen.

UNSW undergraduate medical student Andrew T Fong, who this week spoke at a TEDxSydney event, reviewed the current literature on bullying in populations of children and adolescents with food allergies.

No research has been done on bullying of children and adolescents with food allergies in Australia, but instances were found in North America, Canada, Italy and Japan.

But in studies elsewhere, more than 30 percent of children and adolescents reported being bullied solely because of their food allergy.

Read more about Mr Fong’s research and watch Channel Seven’s report here.

The review article was published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.