Doubts cast on link between early weaning and allergies

New research study explores how best to prevent food allergies in babies

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Scientists have launched a new study aiming to explore whether the link between early weaning and the development of allergies really exists.

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The study, which is being conducted by researchers at King’s College London and the Medical Research Council, in association with the Government’s Food Standards Agency, is investigating whether introducing certain key foods as early as three months could actually prevent allergies.

Current Government guidelines recommend that to avoid problems such as asthma, eczema and food allergies, babies shouldn’t be weaned onto solid foods until six months of age. But scientists believe that introducing potential trigger foods, including yoghurt, egg and wheat, before this point, while continuing to breastfeed, could in fact protect children against developing allergies.

Around six per cent of children in the UK develop food allergies – a statistic that has increased significantly since the 1970s, despite the recommended weaning age changing from four months to six months during that period. 

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To find out more about the study, visit www.eatstudy.co.uk.

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