NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Why One Of Baby's First Foods Might Soon Be Peanut Butter

Eric Aasen
Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, head of allergy and immunology at UT Southwestern in Dallas, turned heads internationally with her journal article about peanut allergies.

A North Texas doctor helped spark an international discussion this week -- about peanut allergies. 

Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla is the head of allergy and immunology at UT Southwestern in Dallas. She co-wrote a piece for the New England Journal of Medicine that could turn advice to young parents on its ear. 

Interview Highlights: Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla...

...On what a new study out of Britain showed: "When peanut was introduced early, the children in the consumption group [meaning they ate peanut protein as early as four months old] had a markedly decreased rate of peanut allergy compared to those that avoided peanut -- 1.9 percent in the consumption group versus 13.7 percent in the avoidance group."

...On using words like "compelling" and "alarming" about the study results: "I knew that there would be media attention, but not to this extent. But I think it's actually a good thing, because those are strong words but the data is indeed so compelling that I think those words are definitely warranted and not over the top."

...On what she'd tell a new mom right now: "If the child has no history of allergy, there's no allergy in the family, then peanut protein can be introduced along with other foods [as early as 4 months old]."

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.