Biggest ever food allergy study to take place on Isle of Wight

35,000 people will take part in the study Credit: ITV Meridian
  • Watch the full report by Sally Simmonds below

Interviewees: Emma Foster, Isle of Wight Birth Cohort & Sebastien Foster, 3rd generation volunteer & Prof Hasan Arshad, David Hide Ashma & Allergy Centre

The most comprehensive study ever into food allergies is about to be undertaken at a centre on the Isle of Wight.

The David Hide Centre in Newport is trying to find out why nut allergies are on the rise and how we can prevent them.

4%

of the population suffer from nut allergies

It follows several high profile cases in the media including the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.

The 15-year-old went into cardiac arrest on-board a flight after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger at Heathrow Airport.

Natasha suffered from a severe sesame allergy Credit: Family handout

Thirty years ago doctors at the centre wanted to find out why children develop asthma, so they recruited 1,500 children in the oldest study in Europe.

They have tested for all kinds of allergens since.

The unique set of data collected shows that from the 1950s to the 1980s cases of asthma rose from 2% to 12% of the population.

But as asthma numbers stabilised, food allergies began to soar.

The David Hide Centre in Newport is undertaking the study Credit: ITV Meridian

The Food Standards Agency is funding the latest study, in which 35,000 volunteers will take part.

It offers a unique opportunity to see how food allergies develop into adulthood from childhood.

If the food allergy goes away, doctors hope to find out why.