Food Allergy Experience

Dr. Oz creeps me out, but now, he disappoints me

I’m certain many allergy blogs have found and discussed the episode where Dr. Oz discusses the topic of food allergies making people fat. I’m sure for some, this is not a new discussion. He does point out he is not talking about fast acting or anaphylaxis, I do give him credit for that. He has an expert who is “researching” food allergies. In this episode, it is suggested that a diary allergy is the cause to almost 30 lb weight gain in a year! He also states that 60% of the population has this dairy allergy. He also talks about bacteria being the problem. OK, now. A food allergy is a misguided immune system response. Your bacteria in your gut, doesn’t have much to do with this immune response to the food protein. In fact, it sounds much more like an intolerance (ie: lactose intolerance) vs food allergy.

Unfortunately, the “researcher” interchanges the terms allergy and food sensitivities. Unfortunately, these are not the same thing. I do wish he would have provided some actual references because I can not find any that state a milk allergy occurs in 60% of the adult population. According to American Academy of Allergy and Asthma & Immunology, 2.5% of kids have an allergy to milk. I couldn’t find a number for adults, but 80% of those kids outgrow the allergies by age 16. I’ve not been able to find a percentage of adults with lactose intolerance. What I did find, interesting enough, is that most mammals become lactose intolerant after weaning.

Food Allergy is an immune system response following the ingestion of the allergen.

Food Sensitivity is an unpleasant reaction to food that does not involve the immune system.

I struggle enough already trying to explain my son’s severe food allergies to people who don’t understand. I worry that this type of confusing information will make it even harder to keep him safe. Potentially, now I will be saying, “Yes, my son has food allergies and no, they don’t just make him fat”.


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