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September 21, 2012

More history – this time, drawing parallels between the emergence of food allergies as a serious medical issue and hyperactivity as a diagnosis.

Wellcome Trust Blog

Dr Matthew Smith, Wellcome Trust Research FellowThe journey of a new medical concept from radical theory to mainstream medicine is often dogged by controversy. Dr Matthew Smith (left) argues that such controversies are fuelled by simplistic, inflexible thinking on all sides of the debate.

He believes understanding the detailed history of previous medical controversies, notably food allergies and hyperactivity, could help us respond more constructively and resolve similar emerging issues more effectively in the future.

The Eskimos will welcome Lions, Roughriders, Tiger-cats and even Argonauts this season, but not peanuts. At Commonwealth Stadium, where the Edmonton Eskimos play their home games in the Canadian Football League, peanuts are the only snack that fans are specifically barred from bringing in with them. “We are allergy aware,” it says on the Eskimos’ website. “Please help us all be allergy aware.”

Edmonton native and medical historian Dr Matthew Smith uses the ban in his hometown stadium to illustrate how food allergies…

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