Adolescent Peanut Allergy: Causes, Consequences, Solutions Essay

Adolescent Peanut Allergy: Causes, Consequences, Solutions Essay

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“An estimated 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts are consumed in the United States every year, and about half are in the form of peanut butter” (Muñoz-Furlong xvii). With all of this consumption of peanuts, how do the three million Americans with a peanut allergy get through life without accidently consuming a peanut (Young 44)? A major problem facing American adolescents today is the peanut allergy. A peanut allergy is when the body has an adverse reaction to the proteins in a peanut. The part of the body designed to battle infections, the immune system, is the cause of the problem (Sicherer and Malloy 3). There is not a known amount of adolescents that are currently affected with peanut allergies, but there was a statistic recently published in an article by the Chicago Tribune stating that as many as one in every 13 children are affected by food allergies. That is approximately two in every classroom (Karp 7). The problem of adolescent peanut allergy can be better understood by examining its causes, consequences and solutions.
To begin, there are various factors that may cause an adolescent to become allergic to peanuts. The first cause comes from the well-known and accepted theory called the “hygiene hypothesis.” The primary concept of the “hygiene hypothesis” is that because of our clean, developed society the immune system of adolescents is not being challenged with enough germs, parasites, or diseases. Due to such a lack of harmful germs, the immune system will start to attack harmless objects, and in this instance it is the proteins in peanuts (Sicherer and Malloy 12). A large contributor to this theory is not only the too-clean environment that adolescents live in, but is their diet too. This diet is called the Western diet, ...

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...raction of a peanut can cause serious health issues or even death. For now all adolescents can do is live their life very diligently, but there is hope that in the future there will be developed cures that will make that small bit of peanut less harmful.

Works Cited

Gallagher, James. "Peanut Allergy Treatment 'a Success'" BBC News, 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Git, Aliah. "New Peanut Allergy Patch Could Be a Game-changer." CBS News, 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Karp, Gregory. "Allergies Fly Under Radar." Chicago Tribune 11 Feb. 2014: 1+. Print.
Landau, Elizabeth. "Why Are Food Allergies on the Rise?" CNN, 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2014
Sicherer, Scott H., Terry Malloy, and Anne Muñoz-Furlong. The Complete Peanut Allergy Handbook. New York City: Berkley, 2005. Print.
Young, Michael C. The Peanut Allergy Answer Book. Gloucester: Fair Winds, 2006. Print.

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