The Nature of Things Series
The Allergy Fix
Scientists are attacking food allergies in new and inventive ways, driven by the alarming increase in the number of people, particularly children, who suffer, and can die, from them.
Directed by Bruce Mohun
Produced by Sue Ridout
Writer: Bruce Mohun, Helen Slinger
Editor: Tim Wanlin
Director of Photography: John Collins
Composer: Graeme Coleman
Production Manager: Alison Hill
Narrated by David Suzuki
Produced by Dreamfilm Productions in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Why is there such an alarming increase in the number of children with food allergies?
"Provides fascinating insight into the world of food allergy." Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed., Director, National Allergy & Anaphylaxis Council
THE ALLERGY FIX explores the science behind the surge in childhood food allergies over the last twenty years. More than three times as many children have food allergies now than twenty years ago. And one out of every three children is now allergic to something, be it food, animals, or plants.
In searching for a fix, scientists are up-ending the conventional wisdom about what causes allergies and how to deal with them. From deliberately giving peanuts to babies...to absorbing parasitic worms through the skin...to understanding why Amish farm families have few allergies. THE ALLERGY FIX travels across Canada and to the US, the UK and Germany to investigate the latest attempts to fix the allergy epidemic, and highlights some innovative, surprising medical advances that are sparking hope.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2014
Copyright Date: 2014
DVD ISBN: 1-94154-517-3
"The Allergy Fix provides fascinating insight into the world of food allergy including the current thinking behind the possible causes and potential therapies for this growing health concern. In addition to discussing multiple theories regarding the epidemiology of food allergies, it gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the benefits and pitfalls of Oral Immunotherapy. While there is no magic bullet, this film provides hope that in coming years we will find some answers that may lead to more effective therapies, and possibly even a cure for food allergies."
Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed., Owner, FoodAllergyConsulting.com, Founder, Food Allergy Education Network, Co-Founder and Director, National Allergy and Anaphylaxis Council
"The Allergy Fix is an around-the-world educational documentary that showcases how far we have come in treating food allergies and how far we have yet to go. The film weaves food allergy history with today's advances to tell a story full of hope and intrigue."
Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Program for Maternal and Child Healthcare, Northwestern University, Author of The Food Allergy Experience
"An engaging and compelling documentary on a question that is of pressing importance: Why have allergic diseases skyrocketed in recent decades? It explores the cutting-edge fixes in the works and, maybe more important, the emerging evolutionary-minded thinking on why these diseases have increased so dramatically in the first place. The 'cure' may lie in replacing the microbes and parasites that abounded in the world of yore. Take care with this documentary: It may compel you to frolic in cow manure, join an Amish community or, for the more adventurous, acquire a parasite or two."
Moises Velasquez-Manoff, Author, An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way Of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases
"As the film portrays, there is promising progress with desensitization regimens for allergy patients...The health effects of modern culture are certainly central to medical anthropology and should be concerns for all people in sterile urban environments. Level/Use: Suitable for mature high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, anthropology of science and technology, and anthropology of developed societies, as well as for general audiences."
Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
"As an author who has written on the hygiene hypothesis and as the grandmother of two children with peanut allergies, I found The Allergy Fix compelling and thought-provoking. This is a fascinating story that doesn't yet have a happy ending but, thanks to the gifted scientists and health professionals we meet in the film, now has a happier ending."
Katherine Ashenburg, Author of The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History
"Interesting and compelling...Engages the viewer in the lives of children with food allergies...Creates interest and provides scientific understanding."
Nancy Ridenour, UNM College of Nursing, Science Books and Films
"This is a fascinating look at the world of medical research and would be exceedingly worthwhile for parents and anyone with an interest in medicine. Recommended."
Susan Hagloch, Library Journal
"Recommended...The balance between the personal look at individual children and their families with the overall coverage of the prevalence of allergies works well...This film would be a wonderful resource in public libraries for interested viewers, especially families that have children with allergies. College libraries could possibly use it for classes that examine health or medical topics."
Mary Northrup, Metropolitan Community College, Educational Media Reviews Online
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
The Producers' Website
CBC's "The Nature of Things" Website for the Film
The Allergy Fix Q&A
Map of Allergies around the World
Allergy Apps: Useful or Not?
Awards and Festivals
Science Journalism Award, Canadian Science Writers' Association
Silver World Medal for Best Health/Medical Information Documentary, New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards
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... more Reviews
"This program may be helpful in schools where children suffer from food allergies, especially for parent education. High School physiology and biology classes may find this a valuable supplement to curriculum."
Ann Weber, School Library Journal
"An interesting look at a hot-button topic...Recommended."
P. Hall, Video Librarian