Feb 4, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: The Super Bowl ratings were as bad as the game, with the lowest preliminary household ratings since 2009, Variety reports.

1 big thing: Adult allergies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Groundbreaking new research has found that nearly 11% of U.S. adults have a food allergy, more than many expected, with a substantial number acquiring the allergies as adults.

Why it matters: Allergies force major accommodations to protect the vulnerable. This is a problem you'd expect to lessen with modern medicine, but it seems to be getting worse.

The WSJ recaps some theories behind the rise:

  • "[I]ncreasing use of antibiotics"
  • "[R]ising rates of C-sections"
  • "[I]ncreasingly sterile environments"

Between the lines: Researchers don't know if this problem is new, because it's never been studied like this before.

  • But doctors told the WSJ that, anecdotally, they're seeing more adult-onset patients.
  • Flashback to WSJ in 2017: "The rate of reports of severe allergic reactions to foods like peanuts has increased by nearly five times over the past decade, according to a new analysis of private insurance claims."

By the numbers, per the Journal:

  • Nearly twice as many Americans think they have a food allergy and have symptoms consistent with a diagnosis.
  • 7.2% of women reported an adult-onset allergy vs. 3% of men, per the JAMA study the WSJ cites.
  • "[A]bout half of adult shellfish and wheat allergies developed after age 17, while fewer than one in five peanut allergies first appeared during adulthood."

The bottom line: These adult-onset allergies can be life-changing, affecting far more people than just the diagnosed.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Tourists lie on the glass skywalk on the 78th floor of the King Power MahaNakhon skyscraper highest observation deck, in Bangkok, Thailand.

2. What you missed
  1. Climate change is likely to melt at least one-third of the glaciers in the region where Mount Everest is located. Go deeper.
  2. A long list of politicians and organizations who have called for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's resignation after he was revealed to have worn blackface in the 1980s. Full list.
  3. One intriguing thing to look for in Uber's S-1, whenever it arrives, is how much information it provides about the other ride-hail companies in which it holds shares. Go deeper.
  4. Local media conglomerate Gannett Co. rejected a takeover bid from MNG Enterprises, which does business as Digital First Media. Go deeper.
3. 1 historian thing

Lin-Manuel Miranda performs his final performance as Alexander Hamilton in "Hamilton" on Broadway, July 9, 2016, New York City. Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Scholars and historians have a problem with "Hamilton," and they're speaking out in stark fashion, the AP notes.

  • Ishmael Reed, a poet, scholar and playwright, has published a play called "'The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, ... reminding viewers of the Founding Father’s complicity in slavery and his war on Native Americans."
  • "Perhaps the true villain of the piece is historian Ron Chernow, who wrote the award-winning biography of Hamilton that Miranda relied upon. ('You should have read books by black people,' a slave tells Miranda in Reed’s play.)"
  • "'It’s a fictional rewrite of Hamilton. You can’t pick the history facts that you want,' said Nancy Isenberg, a professor of American history at Louisiana State University."
  • "Miranda has said in interviews that he felt a responsibility to be as historically accurate as possible but that 'Hamilton' is necessarily a work of historical fiction, including dramatizations and imprecisions."

Dive in.

Mike Allen