Stories about: food bullies

Food bullies

A new study shows kids with food allergies are more likely to be bullied at school. Unfortunately, the findings were recently proven in Pennsylvania, where a student with a food allergy was threatened with an allergy provoking food. Joshua Feblowitz, a Thrive contributor who has lived with severe food allergies his whole life, comments on the study’s findings and offers advice to parents on how they can help protect their children from food bullies.

Joshua and his allergist, Lynda Schneider, MD

Having a child with food allergies poses challenges that go well beyond watching what he eats. Sometimes other kids (and adults) in your child’s life won’t understand food allergies; they may become overly anxious or not take the problem seriously enough. And sometimes, unfortunately, kids can be cruel. Bullies can use a victim’s food allergies to taunt, tease and even threaten.

A recent study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found that one in four children with food allergies has experienced some form of food-related bullying. This type of bullying becomes more common as kids get older, with over 50 percent of food allergic kids in grades 6-10 reporting an instance of food bullying. In one particularly disturbing case, a teenager was suspended from school and charged with assault after purposely smearing peanut butter on the forehead of a nut-allergic student.

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