In February, we shared a special edition of In a Nutshell all about the landmark Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, which made headlines worldwide. On behalf of the National Peanut Board, one registered dietitian recently caught up with study lead Dr. Gideon Lack to discuss additional insights on the study, as well as implications and future considerations. Here are a few highlights of their Q&A:
- • Peanut protein in the study: To avoid risk of choking, Dr. Lack elaborates on the methodology of the study, noting the infants were given peanut protein in a variety of forms. An Israeli snack called Bamba - a puffed corn and peanut food - was the most commonly used, though other infants were exposed to peanut soup or peanut butter mixed into fruit purée.
- • Getting the message out: Considerable education will be needed to change the mindsets of both physicians and parents. Despite the study’s results, Dr. Lack says there is still the belief that eating peanuts and other allergens early in life will lead to allergic diseases, though the opposite is true.
- • New guidelines: Dr. Lack says it’s too early to predict how new guidelines around infant feeding will take shape. He anticipates that “active introduction of peanut products will be encouraged in infant’s diet” but there are many elements to still be considered, such as the recommended age of introduction.
To read the full Q&A, visit the nationalpeanutboard.org.