Food Allergy Experts Clarify Recent LEAP Study

The recent release of the Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) study, conducted by researchers in the UK, has caused much talk and media coverage.  But, some experts are worried that the public is making incorrect assumptions about the results which could lead to risky behavior surrounding food allergies.

Gina Mennett Lee, a food allergy consultant based in Branford, says: know the facts.

"It's not a cure nor a treatment but it may be a preventative measure for some children," she says, of the research which showed early exposure to peanuts could help prevent an allergy from developing in some small children.

According to this mom of a daughter with severe food allergies, this is not a reason to change preventative strategies for managing food allergies right now.  The study does not apply to those who already have a food allergy.

"That's the biggest point for me because I, and others, have worked so hard, trying to make sure we have appropriate preventative measures to prevent reactions in children with food allergy in the school setting and at home," says Mennett Lee. "It's still important to prevent exposure to a child's allergen in order to prevent a reaction."

Some parents are even feeling that they did something wrong, that they somehow caused their child's food allergies.  "When in fact, they were only following the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations," says Mennett Lee, pointing moms and dads to a statement, just released by Kids With Food Allergies, a major non-profit organization.

"It's really important to talk to whoever is treating your child - a doctor, a pediatrician, an allergist,"  she says.  "It is really exciting and I think the next five years will hold a lot of exciting news and maybe change the way we attempt to prevent food allergy and possibly the way we treat it.  But, right now, it's just one study."

She points parents to this blog post by Dr. David Stukus, a board certified allergist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ohio State University, for further clarification.


board certified in Allergy/Immunology and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. - See more at:

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