It seemed like a good idea at the time: With the incidence of peanut allergy climbing among children, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents in 2000 to keep peanuts far away from infants and toddlers who might have a life-threatening reaction to them.
But a new study suggests that advice did more harm than good.
A long-awaited clinical trial has found that small children who avoided peanuts for the first five years of their lives were up to seven times more likely to wind up with a peanut allergy than kids who ate peanuts at least three times a week.
The findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
“The results have the potential to transform how we approach food allergy prevention,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement. The institute helped fund the study.
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