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Allergy Community Receives Apology from This Morning

Food allergies are a significant and growing concern, affecting over 2 million people in the UK alone. Yet, despite the widespread prevalence and potential severity of these allergies, there is a persistent misconception that they are not a serious issue. This misunderstanding can lead to dangerous consequences, as illustrated by a recent comment on the television show “This Morning,” where someone mentioned, rather flippantly, “If you don’t like peanuts then don’t get on the plane because I do and I can’t eat them because someone at the back of the plane is going to drop dead or something.” This statement underscores a critical truth: food allergies are life-threatening and could be someone’s reality. They are not something to be sat and laughed at, to which the presenters proceeded to do. They must be treated with the utmost seriousness are no joke.

What are the Symptoms of Food Allergies?

Food allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless food protein as a threat, triggering a range of reactions that can vary from mild symptoms like hives and stomach pain to severe, life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can cause symptoms such as swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, a rapid drop in blood pressure, and even death if not treated promptly with an injection of epinephrine.

The top 14 most common allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, crustaceans, molluscs, celery, soya, lupin and sulphites. For those affected, even a tiny amount of the allergen can provoke a severe allergic reaction. This constant vigilance can make everyday activities, such as eating out or attending social events, fraught with anxiety.

The Impact of Misunderstanding

Despite the serious nature of food allergies, they are often not taken seriously enough by the general public. Jokes about allergies, like the one made on “This Morning,“on ITV contribute to a culture of misunderstanding. Such remarks can lead to a lack of empathy and support for individuals living with food allergies. 

A survey conducted by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) found that nearly half of the respondents they surveyed believed that food allergies were exaggerated or that they were simply a way to avoid certain foods. This misconception can lead to a lack of proper precautions in schools, restaurants, and other public spaces, putting individuals with food allergies at risk.

Food allergies are a serious health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. The casual dismissal of their severity, as seen in media comments and public attitudes, can have dangerous repercussions. It is imperative that we shift our perception and approach to food allergies, treating them with the seriousness and respect they deserve. Platforms like This Morning should be using their show to promote education and awareness on food allergies, to show people the severity of them. We hope to see how they will be doing this moving on from the comment made earlier on this week. 

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