01.Food allergy rates continue to rise
The rates of Australian children with allergies and intolerances to foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and dairy continues to rise according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
At the same time experts are calling on the government to recognise allergies as a national health priority.
The Australian Health Survey shows that almost 4 million people avoid certain foods because of allergies and intolerance. Of those reported, about 560,000 were children.
Maria Said, the president of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia says food allergy is a rapidly growing health issue that needs urgent attention from the government and is calling for an Australia-wide allergy register to capture the true number of food allergy fatalities and severe reactions.
"In the absence of mandatory reporting of severe anaphylaxis, or mandatory coronial inquests as in the UK, we are potentially underestimating the number of food allergy related fatalities and near misses. It also means we are failing to identify the gaps in knowledge that puts people at risk." she said.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of food allergies in the world, with one in 10 babies born developing a food allergy by the age of one.