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 name SchoolNuts
Current principal investigator/s Dr Jennifer Koplin
Current project manager Megan Mathers
Cohort representative (study contact) Megan Mathers
Postal address School Nuts team, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road Parkville VIC 3052, Australia
Phone +613 8341 6266

Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Children’s Hospital
Major funding sources NHMRC
Key reference 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 website 
Are data available outside study team? No
Study focus Prevalence of challenge-proven food allergy and predictors of severe adverse reactions to food in early adolescence.
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.

For the clinical assessment of food allergy, based on indicators of food allergy in the following measures:
– Student questionnaire
– Parent questionnaire
– Follow up phone history for those who indicate food allergy on questionnaire

Year commenced 2011
Commencement sample 9663 Whole cohort, 370 Clinical sub-study of participants with suspected food allergy
Intergenerational? No 
Imaging No 
Linkage No 
Biosamples? Blood
Newborn screening (Guthrie) card
Ethics approvals or requirements? This project only (Specific consent)
Future research related to this project (Extended consent)
There are a number of different levels of consent. Consent by the principal of each school visited, consent for cross-sectional cohort participation and consent for participation in the clinical assessment sub-study. Type of consent (specific/extended) varies between these levels of consent.


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1 – Whole cohort  2011 – 2015 10 – 14 years 9,663
2 – Clinical sub-sample  2011 – 2015 10 – 14 years 370
3 – COVID Immune: Baseline  2020  15 – 24 years 238
4 – COVID Immune: 12mth follow-up  2021 – ongoing 16 – 25 years In progress