Socio-Economic Issues Associated with Food Allergy

  • L. J. Frewer
  • J. Voordouw
  • M. F. Schenk
  • M. C. van Putten
  • B. Gremmen
  • G. Antonides
  • J. Cornelisse-Vermaat
Part of the Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China book series (ATSTC)

Abstract

Food allergies affect a substantial proportion of the population, with prevalence estimates ranging from 1% to 11% of the population suffering from some complaints. Dietary exclusion of allergenic foods, ingredients and derived products, if necessary, represents the primary risk management strategy at the present time. Given the potentially profound consequences of experiencing an allergic reaction, food allergy has the potential to negatively affect the socio-economic functioning of those food allergic patients, as well as their families. The results of research focused on the socio-economic impact of food allergy suggest that, whilst food allergy has the potential to have a profound impact on the well-being of consumers, not all food allergy management activities are equally preferred by food allergy sufferers. The introduction of novel hypoallergenic products produced using potentially controversial food technologies is not universally accepted by food allergic consumers. There is considerable consumer demand for accurate allergen labeling of food products. Questions arise as to whether current regulatory frameworks (for example, the General Food Law in Europe) are adequate in terms of optimizing consumer protection. Potential future areas of research will be discussed, in particular those where international collaboration is needed to attain the research objectives.

Keywords

Food Allergy Food Allergic Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blok, B.M.J., Vlieg-Boerstra, B.J., Oude Elberink, J.N.G., et al., (2007). A framework for measuring the social impact of food allergy across Europe. Allergy, 62(7), 733–737.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Flokstra-de Blok, B.M.J., DunnGalvin, A., et al., (2009). Development and validation of a self-administered Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire for childrenChildren. Clin Exp Allergy, 39(1), 127–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buttriss, J. (2002). Adverse reactions to food: The report of a British nutrition foundation task force. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Science Ltd.Google Scholar
  4. Cornelisse-Vermaat, J.R., Voordouw, J., Theodoridis, G., et al. (2008a). Food-allergic consumers’ labelling preferences. Similarities and differences in Greece and the Netherlands. Eur J Public Health, 18(2), 115–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cornelisse-Vermaat, R.A., Pfaff, S., Frewer, L.J., et al. (2008b). The information needs and labelling preferences of food allergic consumers. The views of stakeholders regarding information scenarios. Trends Food Sci Technol, 19(12), 669–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. EU, 2002. Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety. Official Journal of the European Communities, L31(45), 1–24.Google Scholar
  7. Fox, M., Mugford, M., Voordouw, J., et al. (2009). Social and economic costs of food allergies in Europe: the development of a socioeconomic impact questionnaire. Health Services Research, 44(5 Pt. 1), 1662–1678.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Frewer, L.J., Howard, C., Shepherd, R. (1997). Public concerns about general and specific applications of genetic engineering: Risk, benefit and ethics. Science, Technology and Human Values, 22(1), 98–124. Hefle, S.L., Taylor, S.L. 2004. Food allergy and the food industry. Curr Allergy Asthma Reports, 4(1), 55–59.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hefle, S.L., Furlong, T.J., Niemann, L., et al. (2007). Consumer attitudes and risks associated with packaged foods having advisory labeling regarding the presence of peanuts. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 120, 171–176.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hendriks, M.J., Frewer, L.J., van der Meulen, B.M.J. (2011). Allergens in law; European legislation assessed against the preferences of food allergic consumers. European Food and Feed Law Review, 2, 74–87.Google Scholar
  11. Miles, S., Fordham, R., Mills, C., et al. (2005). A framework for measuring costs to society of IgE-mediated food allergy. Allergy, 60(8), 996–1003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mills, E.N.C, Valovirta, E., Madsen, C., et al. (2004). Information provision for allergic consumers-where are we going with food allergen labelling? Allergy, 59(12), 1262–1269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Primeau, M.N., Kagan, R, Joseph, L., et al. (2000). The psychological burden of peanut allergy as perceived by adults with peanut allergy and the parents of peanut-allergic children. Clin Exp Allergy, 30(8), 1135–1143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rona, R.J., Keil, T., Summers, C., et al. (2007). The prevalence of food allergy: A meta-analysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 120(3), 638–646.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schenk, M., Fischer, A., Jacobsen, E., et al. (2008). Patient and non-patient attitudes to different mitigation strategies for birch pollen allergies and Ooral allergy syndrome. Health Risk and Society, 10(3), 263–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schenk, M.F., Maas, M. P., Smulders, M.J.M., et al. (2011) Consumer attitudes towards hypoallergenic apples that alleviate mild apple allergy. Food Quality Preference, 22(1): 83–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sicherer, S.H., Noone, S.A., Munoz-Furlong, A. (2001). The impact of childhood food allergy on quality of life. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 87(6), 461–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Taylor, S.L., Hefle, S.L. (2001). Will genetically modified foods be allergenic? J Allergy Clin Immunol, 107, 765–771.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. van Putten, M.C., Frewer, L.J., Gilissen, L.J.W.J., et al. (2007). Novel Foods and Ffood Aallergies. The Iissues. Trends Food Sci Technol, 17(6), 289–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. van Putten, M., Frewer, L., Gilissen, L., et al. (2010). Stakeholder and consumer views regarding novel hypoallergenic foods. Brit Food J, 112(9), 949–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. van Rijswijk, W. Frewer, L.J., Menozzi, D., et al. (2008). Consumer perceptions of traceability: A cross-national comparison of the associated benefits. Food Qual Prefer, 19(5), 452–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Voordouw, J., Cornelisse-Vermaat, J., Yiakoumaki, V., et al. (2009). Food allergic consumers’ preferences for labelling practices: A qualitative study in a real shopping environment. Int J Consumer Studies, 33(1), 94–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Voordouw, J., Fox, M., Cornelisse-Vermaat, M., et al. (2010). Household costs associated with food allergy: an exploratory study. Brit Food J, 112, 1205–1215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Frewer
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Voordouw
    • 2
  • M. F. Schenk
    • 3
  • M. C. van Putten
    • 2
  • B. Gremmen
    • 4
  • G. Antonides
    • 5
  • J. Cornelisse-Vermaat
    • 2
  1. 1.Food and Society, Center for Rural Economy, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural DevelopmentNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Marketing and Consumer Behavior Group, Social Sciences DepartmentWageningen UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Plant Research InternationalWageningen URWageningenthe Netherlands
  4. 4.Methodical Ethics and Technology Assessment (META), Social Sciences DepartmentWageningen UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands
  5. 5.Economics of Consumers and Households Group, Social Sciences DepartmentWageningen UniversityWageningen Universitythe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations