Exploring Perceptions and Experiences of Food Allergy among New Canadians from Asia Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Introduction. In Canada, perceived prevalence of food allergy surpasses systematic estimates. Canadian immigrants have been found more likely to rate the risk of food allergy as “high” compared to nonimmigrants. Methods. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 3 key informants and 18 allergic individuals of East and Southeast Asian descent in order to capture their lived experience with food allergies. Results. Participants found food allergies to be more common in Canada than in Asia. Participants also agreed that having a food allergy is more manageable in Canada as a result of the policy environment (e.g., food labelling and school policies). In addition, participants had dealt with skepticism and disbelief about their food allergy in Asia, resulting in social exclusion and impacting quality of life. Discussion. Findings demonstrate the need to recognize the varied impacts and experiences of food allergy among new Canadians, given that immigrants represent a large and growing proportion of the Canadian population.

publication date

  • June 4, 2014