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Fad Diets and Food Allergies; the IT Connection

Published on March 5th, 2014 by in Uncategorized

In today’s society, it is very common to hear of people going on “fad diets”. A celebrity physician, a web article, or a bestselling diet book will spark a revolution against a certain food or food group. Suddenly, all of your friends don’t drink milk and eat kale in all meals. Quite often, these fads die out or are proven wrong, but occasionally the diet change can uncover a serious illness or food allergy. Unfortunately, culture’s opinion of healthy food varies so often that it is hard to make concrete diet decisions. When you throw in the factor of varying body types and metabolisms, diet choices can seem overwhelming to the average American. People are forced to make the best decision they can based on the fickle data that they have.  Decisions to cut foods out of a diet can lead to sometimes severe consequences, as foodallergies.org mentions, “self-diagnosis [of food allergies] can lead to unnecessary dietary restrictions and inadequate nutrition, especially in children.”

At the same time, food allergies are at an all-time high. Now that doctors have the ability to test for allergies more thoroughly, the number of people found to be allergic to certain food groups is skyrocketing. Foodallergies.org, reports that “the number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.” All that can be done at this point is to diagnose and treat the allergy itself. However, if data was able to be collected from a massive number of allergy sufferers, research could be more thoroughly conducted and conclusions could begin to be made. There are already apps out for smartphones that measure pH levels and vitamin deficiencies. Mobihealthnews.com reports vitaMe Technologies CTO Vlad Oncescu as saying, “At some point we believe — potentially — that you’ll be able to analyze the effects of diet directly on your smartphone.”

This is a possibility that could revolutionize the knowledge about food allergies. Hopefully soon, data will be collected from allergy sufferers, and the research field will be expounded to provide answers to preventing allergies. This research could also help prevent the spread of unnecessary “fad diets” by providing accurate information about dietary health, specific to body type and metabolism matching the person accessing the information.

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