When Food Can Kill You: Coping With Severe Food Allergies | National Geographic

For Xaviar Peterson, eating lunch at the school cafeteria, at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant, can be extremely dangerous. There’s a long list of foods—from peanuts, to shellfish, to sesame—that could quickly send him into life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. He’s one of up to 15 million Americans who suffer from food allergies. And though the statistics continue to rise, there is still no cure.
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See how Xaviar, with the help of his mom Anastasia, learns to protect himself against the very real threats of food allergies, while still trying to live a normal life.

To learn more about families coping with food allergies and some theories as to why so many are afflicted, read more here: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/people-and-culture/food/the-plate/2016/06/science-can_t-fully-explain-food-allergies–but-many-people-just

PRODUCERS: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo and Becky Harlan
EDITOR: Becky Harlan
SPECIAL THANKS: Anastasia Kim and Mary Lindauer
MUSIC: Dan Phillipson

When Food Can Kill You: Coping With Severe Food Allergies | National Geographic

National Geographic


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  1. I’m allergic to wheat, soya, rye, most legumes, fish, shellfish, kiwi, gluten, lactose, eggs, Caffeine and many more. My reactions range from breaking out in rashes to anaphylactic shock and can be triggered by just smell and touch. I’m fifteen and it’s honestly scary to go out without someone who knows how to administer my epipen because we actually don’t know the extent of everything I’m allergic to so at any moment I could stop breathing. I’m homeschooled because of how sick I am as well as it’s way too much of an ask to expect my peers not to bring anything that could trigger an allergic reaction.

  2. Biggest problem with schools banning this or that food is it probably gives a false sense of security to these kids that when they grow up, the world around them is going to care about their allergy and behavior will adjust to accommodate them.

  3. Parent with a kid who has allergies that requests special treatment: entitled, but probably justifiable.
    Parent who unknowingly sends a food to school that triggers someone else's kid's allergy: blameless.
    Parent who knows about an allergy and sends the food anyway: wilfully negligent and WAY more entitled than the parents of the kid with the allergy.

  4. I don't think the 'nut free' thing at school is the mom's choice, lots of schools make that decision so stop hating on her, and for all of you that say home school him, well what kind of childhood would that be and how would he make friends and have the other experiences homeschooling would be taking away?

  5. G O D B L E S S moma's dear heart her constant painful concern 24/7 for her entire life because of her mamas love for her boy federal and local governments sleep sweet for what they've been doing here for many decades lots of people sleep sweet at night because of their deep denial and trust they all have in their local and federal governments 'they ALL need to be 6 feet under

  6. To prevent allergy is having pets and walk in gardens, park, and some crowded places. But the main problem is there is a chance that in those places have some germs that affect child growth. So i don't think we can solve that. Or build a place for pregnant mothers to walk to play, but need to check for viruses germs everyday that will cause thousand dollars for just checking

  7. why should one kid's problem become everyone's problem, this is ridiculous. take care of you child and remove him from public school this day and age there's no excuse when you have the internet(virtual school)

  8. I'm allergic to milk, egg, dogs, cats, grass, horses, and citrus fruits, but I have no struggles with this, I have learnt to handle my allergies in a very good way.

  9. That's cool and I'm sad for this kid, but that won't stop me from giving my damn kid foods with coconut, tree nuts, peanuts, and whatever the hell else this kid can't eat.

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