By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When we talk about health risks with teens we usually deal with issues like alcohol, cigarettes or drug abuse. But there is a surprising area of concern and it has to do with a bizarre kind of risky behavior.

Teens are more likely to take risks when it comes to food allergies.

Behavior such as not reading food labels or knowingly eating foods labeled “may contain allergens” is quite common.

In a poll of 174 food-allergic individuals, many admitted to actually eating foods they were allergic to and tempting fate. This is not unlike diabetic teens who will alter doses of medications to lose weight, unaware or unconcerned about the health effects.

Many teens are responsible and do the right thing but the studies that are out there provide a clear warning. It is important to be careful and make sure teenagers are listening to advice.