SchoolNuts is a cross-sectional population-based study that aims to measure the prevalence of food allergy in the early adolescent age group, as well as to understand risk factors for recurrent and severe accidental food ingestion reactions and to determine clinical predictors of food challenge outcomes. 9,630 children aged 10-14 years have been recruited from randomly-selected schools across Melbourne.

Participants have completed surveys on allergic disease status, food allergy-specific quality of life, pubertal development and risk-taking behaviour. Parents of participating children have completed questionnaires on family history of allergic disease and environmental exposures. Participants suspected of having a food allergy have attended a hospital clinic for allergy testing and treatment.

Study Summary
Study name SchoolNuts
Study abbreviation SchoolNuts
Current principal investigator/s A/Prof Rachel Peters (MCRI)
Current project manager

Megan Mathers

Primary Institution/s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute - MCRI
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Children’s Hospital - RCH
Major funding source/s National Health and Medical Research Council - NHMRC
Study website
Key reference for study Sasaki, M., Koplin, J.J., Dharmage, S.C., Field, M.J., Sawyer, S.M., McWilliam, V., Peters, R.L., Gurrin, L.C., Vuillermin, P.J., Douglass, J., Pezic, A., Brewerton, M., Tang, M.L.K., Patton, G.C. and Allen, K.J. (2018). Prevalence of clinic-defined food allergy in early adolescence: The SchoolNuts study. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 141(1): 391-398.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.05.041
Study focus

To measure the prevalence of food allergy in the early adolescent age group, to understand risk factors for food ingestion reactions and to determine clinical predictors of food challenge outcome.

Sampling frame

Children aged 10-14 years (grade 5-8) and their parents recruited through randomly selected government, Catholic and independent primary and secondary schools (using stratified cluster sampling) within 80 km of Melbourne’s (Australia) Central Business District.

Primary study type Cross-sectional
Primary participant (at recruitment) Index child
Year commenced


Is this study ongoing? No - the study is complete
Year study ended 2016
Ongoing recruitment? No
Sample size (N)

9663 Whole cohort, 370 Clinical sub-study of participants with suspected food allergy

Survey data available? Yes
Imaging data available? No
Linkage to administrative dataset/s? No, no consent to link to administrative dataset(s) obtained
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? No
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)
Phase Year Age Sample size (N)
1 - Whole cohort 2011-2015 10-14 years N(Total)=9663
2 - Clinical sub-sample 2011-2015 10-14 years N(Cases)=370
3 - COVID Immune: Baseline 2020 15-24 years N(Cases)=238
4 - COVID Immune: 12-mth follow-up 2021-Ongoing 16-25 years IN PROGRESS
Study Contacts
Principal investigator/s A/Prof Rachel Peters (MCRI)
Project manager

Megan Mathers

Study Contact

Ph: 03 8341 6266
Address: Population Allergy
Murdoch Children's Research Institute,
Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road, Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia