A recent study correlates decreased growth with milk allergies in children. The study involved 6,189 children aged 2 to 17 years as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey among a diverse selection of the U.S. population. About 1.1 percent of those responding had a cow's milk allergy. These children had a significantly lower mean weight, height and body mass index (BMI) compared to children with other food allergies. Decreased tricepts skin folds was also experienced in children with a milk allergy.
The study is due to be published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology with lead authors karen A. Robbins, MD, Robert A. Wood, MD, and Corinne A. Keet, MD, PhD, publishing.
“Children with milk allergy had lower calcium intake on 24-hour recall and trended toward lower vitamin D and total caloric intake compared with those seen in children without milk allergy,” the researchers wrote. “However, adjustment of dietary intake of total calories, protein, fat, calcium and vitamin D did not change our findings of decreased growth measurements in children with milk allergy or adiposity measurements.”
The researchers note that the trend towards lower mean BMI, weight and height also continues when the children with milk allergies are compared to children who avoid milk (intake rarely). The rate of difference in body size is about the same as it was between children with milk allergies and children with other allergies.
The researchers say that the findings support a need for nutritional supervision and supplementation for children with milk allergies.