Australians allergic to the food facts
KNOWING how to save someone from anaphylaxis needs to be as common as knowing CPR if Australia is to arrest the spiralling rates of food allergy deaths.
A new survey has revealed widespread ignorance of food allergies and how to deal with a severe reaction.
It found 85 per cent of Australians would not recognise if someone was having a potentially fatal food allergy attack and most (69 per cent) would be useless to help.
More than half of those surveyed also agreed that people with a food allergy were “over cautious”.
“The research reveals an extremely dangerous combination of lack of awareness and complacency,” Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia CEO Maria Said said.
“Australians need to recognise people with food allergies are not making a ‘fuss’ and that this is a medical issue we need to all take seriously. I think there is a lot of stigma. People need to not roll their eyes at the problem.”
More than 650,000 Australians have a diagnosed food allergy and an estimated 23 people die every year from food anaphylaxis. There are 30,000 new cases every year.
With today marking the beginning of Food Allergy Week (14-20 May), Ms Said has called for more research into the escalating problem.
“We need to get to the bottom of this issue so future generations can reduce the risk of developing an allergy,” she said. The Galaxy research surveyed 1000 Australians.