Lifestyle & Belief

Food allergies make it more likely a kid will be bullied


A new study has linked food allergies in children with an increased risk of being bullied.


Scott Olson

Researchers found that kids with food allergies were more likely to be targets of bullying.

A study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine showed that nearly one third of those kids with food allergies were at risk of being bullied.

HealthDay said that researchers surveyed approximately 250 children for the study.

They found that 31.5 percent of kids with food allergies are subject to taunts and threats that involve the allergy-inducing food.

About 45 percent of kids in the study said that they had been bullied.

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Researchers said that allergies made kids more susceptible to taunts because they could not eat what others could.

"Our finding is entirely consistently with what you find with children with a disability,"  Eyal Shemesh told Reuters Health.

The allergy "is a vulnerability that can be very easily exploited, so of course it will be exploited."

Bullying has become not only an issue among parents but also among politicians lately, as demands for stricter legal measures have increased after a string of child suicides that have been linked to taunts and teasing.

"There has been a shift and people are more and more recognizing that bullying has real consequences, it's not just something to be making jokes about," Mark Schuster, of the Boston Children's Hospital, who wrote am accompanying commentary with the new study, told Reuters.

It is estimated that about eight percent of American children have food allergies.

The research was published in the journal Pediatrics.