4media group worked with ASDA and Allergy UK to raise awareness of the dangers and struggles of being a child with a food allergy. The campaign consisted of research, broadcast, and news generation elements. The broadcast day was fronted by Amena Warner from Allergy UK, Rebecca O’Leary who is mother to 6-year-old coeliac sufferer, Peggy, who understands first-hand how emotionally taxing it is for parents and children with a food intolerance and also Joanna Johnson from Asda, who commissioned this research and guide.
The research conducted by our in-house research division, Atomik Research, revealed that more than half of UK children (58%) have had a reaction to food that they have an allergy or intolerance to, with 3 in 5 (60%) having been to hospital as a result.
But it’s not just the health effects that are plaguing young sufferers. Many are facing social exclusion as a result of their allergies and intolerances. In fact 70% of children feel that they are treated differently as a result of their food allergy.
In terms of the type of allergies and intolerances children have, more than half (52%) have a nut allergy, more than a third (32%) have a lactose intolerance and 39% have a gluten intolerance.
However, the research by Asda highlighted that more than a quarter (26%) of children were too shy to say anything, a fifth (20%) were too embarrassed to speak out about their allergy or intolerance and suffered a reaction as a result. This is shocking considering the most common place for children's allergic reaction to occur is when they are at their friend's house (43%).
68% of children have gone hungry and 71% have skipped a meal completely because they don't have food which they can eat when away from home.
For 67% of parents with children requiring specific diets, relying on this network of people to look after their kids during playdates, parties and general childcare, means the added stress of wondering whether their child is being fed the right foods.
Our media team generated an amazing 22 pieces of coverage including an appearance on Sky News Sunrise, 7 regional BBCs and a host of other regional and commercial radio stations.
The research was also picked up by The Sun and the MailOnline.