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Young people in Cook County at high risk for food allergies

A Northwestern University study released Thursday shows that young people, 18 years old and younger, are more at risk to get food allergies in Cook County than if they were in rural areas.

The report shows nearly 10 percent of Cook County’s young people have a food allergy. That number is closer to six percent in rural areas.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta is a pediatrician that led the study. She said the environment has an impact on developing food allergies. 

However, the study said the severity of allergies does not have a strong association with where the young people reside.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said the study reported nearly 10 percent of youth in Cook County have allergies to peanuts and shellfish. That number should actually refer to all food allergies.


The original version also stated that the lead author of the study said there may be a link between food allergies and eating habits. That is a theory she cited in a phone interview, but it's not part of the study she authored. 

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