While the food allergy problem isn’t new, it has undoubtedly gotten worse over time. Between 1997 and 2011, based on CDC research, food allergies in children increased 50 percent, and tree or peanut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008. Doctors aren’t quite sure why there has been such an increase, but some point to an increase in processed foods as the culprit. Others cite a hotly debated “hygiene hypothesis,” which states that a lack of exposure to germs as a child increases the risk of allergies.
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