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Allergy Today: Recent Study Shows Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention Advice may Help Decrease Food-related Anaphylaxis

An Australian study has examined the association of the ASCIA infant feeding guidelines (2008) and global allergy prevention guidelines (2016) with hospital food anaphylaxis admission rates.iStock-1307543618-39

Published in January, the results show that the rate of increase in food anaphylaxis hospital admission is decelerating in all age groups (five to nine and ten to 14 years) who were born after the changes in the guideline in 2008. However, the rate of admission among 15-year-olds and above was continuing to accelerate.


This initial data is considered good news, showing the possible effectiveness of the updates in infant feeding and allergy prevention guidelines for early introduction of allergy-causing foods in relation to food anaphylaxis.


The authors stated that even though there is a slowing in the rates, the actual incidence of food anaphylaxis admissions continued to increase. In line with this, they stated that despite reducing the risk of allergy development, early introduction of allergenic food goes hand in hand with its regular consumption. There are also other factors that influence adherence to the feeding guidelines, including access to accurate information, lifestyle and dietary choices, and health literacy.


Allergy New Zealand is pleased the study found evidence that food allergy prevention measures implemented in Australia are having a measurable impact on the population’s prevalence of food-related anaphylaxis presentations to hospital.


However, given the lack of resources in New Zealand to implement a similar campaign, including that the infant feeding guidelines incorporating similar advice were only introduced by the Ministry of Health in November 2021, Healthy Eating Guidelines for New Zealand Babies and Toddlers (0-2 years old) | Ministry of Health NZ, it is unlikely we will see a similar impact here for some time.


It is also vital we have more research on food allergy in New Zealand children, particularly in Pasifika and Asian populations, where rates appear to be much higher.


An abstract of the published study can be accessed through this link:



Mullins, R. J., Dear, K., Tang, M. (2022). Changes in Australian food anaphylaxis admission rates following introduction of updated allergy prevention guidelines. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Advanced online publication.

Allergy Today, March 2022