The HealthNuts study of 5,300 children is the world’s first comprehensive population-based study of food allergy with an objective measurement of true food allergy. The study will enable researchers to better understand the natural history of allergic disorders including food allergy, asthma, eczema and hay fever and the risk factors for developing these conditions in the first six years of life. The study will have important implications for clinical guidelines and public health policy.

Participants who were food allergic at wave 1 food challenge or who indicated the presence of new food allergy symptoms since wave 1 were invited to participate in the clinical sub-sample, which included food challenge assessments.

In the below tables:
(a) – data collected for whole sample
(b) – additional data collected for clinic/food challenge subsample

Study Summary
Study name HealthNuts
Study abbreviation HealthNuts
Current principal investigator/s A/Prof Rachel Peters (MCRI)
Primary Institution/s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute - MCRI
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Children’s Hospital - RCH
The University of Melbourne - UoM
Major funding source/s National Health and Medical Research Council - NHMRC
IIhan Food Allergy Foundation
Australian Egg Corporation Pty.
US Department of Defense
Study website
Key reference for study Osborne, N.J., Koplin, J.J., Martin, P.E., Gurrin, L.C., Thiele, L., Tang, M.L., Ponsonby, A-L., Dharmage, S.C. and Allen, K.J., for HealthNuts Study Investigators. (2010). The HealthNuts population-based study of paediatric food allergy: validity, safety and acceptability. Clin Exp Allergy, 40(10): 1516-22
Study focus

A comprehensive population-based study of food allergy with an objective measurement of true food allergy, to better understand the natural history of, and risk factors for, allergic disorders.


Sampling frame

12-month-old infants presenting for routine scheduled vaccination at local government-led immunisation clinics across Melbourne, Australia.


Primary study type Longitudinal cohort
Primary participant (at recruitment) Index child
Year commenced



Is this study ongoing? Yes - the study is ongoing
Ongoing recruitment? No
Sample size (N)



Survey data available? Yes
Imaging data available? No
Linkage to administrative dataset/s? Yes, linkage to (at least one) administrative dataset completed
Biosamples available? Yes
Are data available to others outside study team, with appropriate safeguards and structures in line with the cohort’s ethics and governance processes? Yes
Are there any costs associated with data/sample access for approved requests? There are usually no costs associated with access
Broadest type of participant consent available Extended consent (can be used for future ethically approved research related to this project)
Wave Year Age Sample size (N)
1 2007-2010 12 months
2a 2011-2014 4 years
2b 2011-2014 4 years
3a 2013-2016 6 years
3b 2013-2016 6 years
4a 2016-2020 10 years
4b 2016-2020 10 years
5 2022-Ongoing 15 years IN PROGRESS
Substudy: COVID Immune (Baseline) 2020 10-14 years
Substudy: COVID Immune (Follow-Up) 2021-Ongoing 11-15 years IN PROGRESS
Study Contacts
Principal investigator/s A/Prof Rachel Peters (MCRI)
Study Contact

Ph: +61 3 8341 6266
Address: HealthNuts Study
Population Allergy,
Murdoch Children's Research Institute,
Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road, Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia