Why are allergies on the rise?

Dr. R. Sharon Chinthrajah

1 in 15 people globally has a food allergy - a rate that's more than doubled since 1960. What's behind this soaring increase?

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The percentage of the world's population affected by food allergies has increased dramatically in less than sixty years, up from 3% in 1960 to more than 7% of people in 2018.

And that's not all - the range of foods we're allergic to is steadily increasing too. Where once food allergies were largely limited to nuts, seafood and milk, people are now presenting with allergic reactions to all kinds of food products.

So what's behind this frightening trend?

Stanford's Dr. Sharon Chinthrajah joins us in The Garden to explore the latest data from the frontline of allergy and immunology research. Her team's pioneering work to understand where food allergies and asthma come from and how we treat them gives Sharon a unique vantage point. Don't miss this fascinating exploration into one of the body's most common and most aggressive misfirings.

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50 minutes


Food for Thought

About the Fellow

Dr. R. Sharon Chinthrajah

Sharon Chinthrajah is a specialist in allergy and immunology at Stanford University's Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research.

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Food for Thought Collection

Why is food so important to us? Beyond its nutritional benefits, food connects people. This series explores how our relationship with food has evolved over time and the meanings that different cultures ascribe to food.

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