Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 9-15 this year. Following is a press release from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Visit their website to learn how you can get involved in your community or your school.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marketing and Media Communications Manager
(703) 563-3061 direct, (301) 639-4811 cell
Recognize Food Allergy Awareness Week by Respecting Every Bite
National Awareness Campaign Aims to Educate, Raise Awareness
FAIRFAX, Va. (April 28, 2010) – Millions of Americans with food allergies must treat every morsel they eat as if it could potentially cause them to have a reaction, one that could even be fatal – they must “Respect Every Bite.” This message, the theme of the 13th Annual Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW), must also hold true for individuals without food allergies.
Regretfully, studies show that the public’s knowledge and awareness of food allergies is lacking and often inaccurate. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) urges everyone to “Respect Every Bite” during FAAW (May 9-15) and throughout the year in order to keep individuals with food allergies free from reactions and to show compassion for the challenges that food allergies bring with them.
Country music star Trace Adkins has joined FAAN for a new public service announcement intended to provide much-needed education about food allergy and the risks associated with this potentially life-threatening condition. Adkins’ daughter Brianna is one of 3 million children in the U.S. living with food allergies.
“The prevalence of food allergies is on the rise, especially among children, says Adkins. “And until there’s a cure, it’s crucial we learn everything we can about food allergies and do whatever we can to keep our children safe.”
Despite the widely-publicized increase in the number of children with food allergies, Americans still have misconceptions about food allergies. A study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology published last year showed about 65 percent of those surveyed using the Chicago Food Allergy Research Survey for the General Public correctly answered general questions about food allergy. Alarmingly, nearly half of those surveyed mistakenly believed there is a cure for food allergy and more than two-thirds incorrectly said a daily medicine could be taken to avoid food allergy reactions.
“There is no cure for food allergy – yet,” said FAAN CEO Julia Bradsher. “In the meantime, we must do everything we can to raise awareness and educate the public.”
These efforts are crucial. A study published in Pediatrics late last year revealed that more children are seeking medical treatment for food allergy-related reasons. Food allergy is the cause of approximately 300,000 ambulatory care visits per year among children.
Founded in 1991 by Anne Muñoz-Furlong, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is the world leader in information about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that afflicts approximately 12 million Americans, or one out of every 25. A nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., FAAN has approximately 25,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and 58 other countries. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness of food allergy and its consequences, to educating people about the condition, and to advancing research on behalf of all those affected by it. FAAN provides information and educational resources about food allergy to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. For more information, please visit FAAN at www.foodallergy.org.
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