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Food allergy knowledge, perception of food allergy labeling, and level of dietary practice: A comparison between children with and without food allergy experience

  • Choi, Yongmi (Department of Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Dankook University) ;
  • Ju, Seyoung (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University) ;
  • Chang, Hyeja (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University)
  • Received : 2014.07.24
  • Accepted : 2014.10.21
  • Published : 2015.02.01

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of food allergies in Korean children aged 6 to 12 years increased from 10.9% in 1995 to 12.6% in 2012 according to nationwide population studies. Treatment for food allergies is avoidance of allergenic-related foods and epinephrine auto-injector (EPI) for accidental allergic reactions. This study compared knowledge and perception of food allergy labeling and dietary practices of students. SUBJECTS/METHODS: The study was conducted with the fourth to sixth grade students from an elementary school in Yongin. A total of 437 response rate (95%) questionnaires were collected and statistically analyzed. RESULTS: The prevalence of food allergy among respondents was 19.7%, and the most common food allergy-related symptoms were urticaria, followed by itching, vomiting and nausea. Food allergens, other than 12 statutory food allergens, included cheese, cucumber, kiwi, melon, clam, green tea, walnut, grape, apricot and pineapple. Children with and without food allergy experience had a similar level of knowledge on food allergies. Children with food allergy experience thought that food allergy-related labeling on school menus was not clear or informative. CONCLUSION: To understand food allergies and prevent allergic reactions to school foodservice among children, schools must provide more concrete and customized food allergy education.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Dankook University

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