Why are there so many kids with serious allergies to peanuts? I'll get to that, but first, we were just notified that the maker of Nabisco's Chewy Chips Ahoy! Cookies is voluntarily recalling some of their cookies due to a potential for certain product to contain an unexpected "solidified ingredient" after some reports were received of potential adverse health effects.

Although Mondelez Global LLC didn't provide further details about the unexpected "solidified ingredient," company officials said there reports of potential adverse health effects. Please do not eat this product.

The affected product includes packages of Chewy Chips Ahoy! Cookies in 13-ounce packages with a retail UPC code 0 44000 03223 4 with "Best By" dates 07 Sep 2019, 08 Sep 2019, 14 Sep 2019, 15 Sep 2019. Questions? Call 1-844-366-1771.

Now back to my question. Why are so many kids allergic to peanuts? The number of school-age children with peanut allergies has doubled in the past decade. Many experts have their suspicions but not even scientists can put their finger on it. Theories abound, though, and a lot of them involve an "overactive immune system."

But peanuts seem to trigger especially violent immune reactions. Robert Wood, an allergy specialist at Johns Hopkins University, seems to think that peanuts contain several proteins not found in most other foods, and the structure of these proteins stimulates a strong immune response.

Here's an interesting footnote: roasting peanuts, as American companies do, might alter the protein's shape, making them a bigger target. Whereas in China, where it's customary to boil peanuts, allergy rates are much lower.

Bottom line, if you have a peanut allergy, don't eat the cookies I mentioned above. Stay well and healthy.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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