Are we becoming more allergic to food? 食物過敏越來越常見的原因

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過量飲食對健康無益,但對於部分對食物過敏的人來說,含有過敏原的食物可能會給身體造成真正的損害。研究表明,似乎越來越多的人對不同類型的食物產生了過敏反應。這是由於人們對於過敏症的關注、醫療診斷技術的進步,還是周圍環境的影響?本集節目聊一聊越來越多人開始對食物過敏的原因。

Vocabulary: allergies 詞彙: 過敏

Do you love food? Whether you’re a foodie or someone who just likes eating, there is so much to choose from. We know that too much of the wrong kind of food can be bad for our health, but for some people having a food allergy means eating certain things can actually be harmful – and now, it seems, this is affecting more and more of us.

An allergy is caused by the immune system fighting substances in the environment, known as allergens, that it should see as harmless. Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions, which means people have to spend their lives following strict dietary restrictions and worrying about the ingredients of everything they consume. Allergy specialist Dr Adam Fox says 「if you look back over, say, 30 or 40 years… there are much more allergic problems around now than there were.」

We often hear about people having allergies to dairy products and to peanuts. Last year a 15-year-old girl died after suffering a fatal allergic reaction from eating a baguette containing sesame seeds. This led to a call for better food-labelling laws.

Research has found that this problem is particularly affecting children. More and more of them are having allergic reactions to certain foodstuffs. Writing for the BBC website, Dr Alexandra Santos from King’s College London says 「food allergy now affects about 7% of children in the UK and 9% of those in Australia, for example. Across Europe, 2% of adults have food allergies.」

So what might be the cause? Dr Santos says the increase in allergies is not simply the effect of society becoming more aware of them and better at diagnosing them; it seems to be more environmental. She says possible factors are 「pollution, dietary changes and less exposure to microbes, which change how our immune systems respond.」  She points out that it’s very common for migrants who move to another country to develop asthma and food allergies in their new location.

A lot of work is being done to try and find a cure, but that’s not easy. So for now allergy sufferers must watch what they eat and they must rely on clear and accurate labelling.

詞彙表

foodie 「食客」,愛好美食的人
allergy 過敏反應
harmful 有害的
immune system 免疫系統
allergen 過敏原
life-threatening 致命的
reaction 反應
dietary restriction 飲食限制
ingredient (食品)成分
consume 吃、喝
dairy 奶製品的
peanut 花生
allergic reaction 過敏反應
diagnose 診斷出,查出
environmental 和環境有關的
dietary change 飲食變化
microbe 微生物,細菌
asthma 哮喘
a cure 治療方法

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do food allergy sufferers usually have to look at before eating something?

2. True or false? A girl died from eating a baguette because she had a dairy allergy.

3. According to research, which group of people are most affected by food allergies?

4. Why might moving to another country cause a migrant to develop asthma?

5. What is the cure for a food allergy?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. It’s so hot today and I would love to eat an ice cream bit I’m afraid I can’t eat any ______ products.

harm                             dairy                                  allergen                      foodie

2. Medical science has developed so much but there is still no ______ for the common cold!

cured                             curing                                cure                             kure

3. Every time I visit my sister and her dog, I get an ______ and start sneezing!

immune system             allergic reaction                  allergens                   dietary restriction

4. My doctor has told me to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables if I want to boost my ______.

immunity system           immuned system                immunisation             immune system

5. A rise in the number of people suffering from ______ is being blamed on the high levels of pollution in the city.

microbes                       allergen                                asthma                      environmental

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do food allergy sufferers usually have to look at before eating something?
They have to look at the ingredients of the food they are eating.

2. True or false? A girl died from eating a baguette because she had a dairy allergy.
False. The girl mentioned in the article, died from eating a baguette containing sesame seeds but her exact allergy was not mentioned.

3. According to research, which group of people is most affected by food allergies?
Research has found that this problem is particularly affecting children.

4. Why might moving to another country cause a migrant to develop asthma?
Moving to a new location means they are exposed to different environmental conditions such as pollution and dietary changes.

5. What is the cure for a food allergy?
Currently there is no cure but it is being worked on.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. It’s so hot today and I would love to eat an ice cream bit I’m afraid I can’t eat any dairy products.

2. Medical science has developed so much but there is still no cure for the common cold!

3. Every time I visit my sister and her dog, I get an allergic reaction and start sneezing!

4. My doctor has told me to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables if I want to boost my immune system.

5. A rise in the number of people suffering from asthma is being blamed on the high levels of pollution in the city.