Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 964504, 7 pages
Research Article

Exploring Perceptions and Experiences of Food Allergy among New Canadians from Asia

1School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
2Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 28 January 2014; Accepted 14 May 2014; Published 4 June 2014

Academic Editor: William E. Berger

Copyright © 2014 Stephanie K. Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.