Although 2.55 percent of the general population has food allergies, the odds are four times greater among black boys. This means they’re at the most risk than any other group, according to recent national survey presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting.

Researchers tested sensitivity levels to potential food allergens, such as eggs, milk, shrimp and peanuts, in 8,203 participants, from infants to seniors who had tested positive for the antibody associated with food sensitivity levels. The scientists found that children, males, non-Hispanic blacks and people of lower income were the most likely be simply sensitive to food.

About 17 percent of the study’s participants had food sensitivities. Four percent were sensitive to eggs, 6 percent to shrimp or milk and 8 percent to peanuts.

What causes the disparity? Researchers are not quite sure and conclude that more studies need to be conducted.

Read RH’s “Negotiating Food Allergies” to learn about culinary management techniques to help resolve the problem.