One in 13 American kids suffers from food allergies, a study finds: That’s 6 million children, double the number most recently estimated by the CDC. Some 40% of them have severe reactions to the foods in question, most commonly peanuts and milk, a figure researchers say emphasizes the fact that food allergies aren’t just annoyances, but can be dangerous. Researchers studied 40,104 children through online interviews with parents.
The findings mean 8% of US kids—or about two per classroom—have food allergies. The new data “confirms that food allergy is a substantial public health problem," says an investigator with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The study was funded by parent-founded advocacy group the Food Allergy Initiative, which is working with the CDC to create guidelines on how to handle food allergies in schools, the AP reports. (Here's one messy case of a school clashing with a student who is allergic to peanuts.)