Lots of people think they have a food allergy, but only about half of them actually do. According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, about one in five Americans believe they have a food allergy, but it turns out, it’s actually more like one in 10 who are allergic to one or more foods. Researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago surveyed over 40,000 people in the U.S. and found that while close to 19% think they’re food allergic, only about 10.8% actually are.
The study shows not only are people wrong about their food allergies, of the roughly 26-million Americans who really do have one, only half have a clinical diagnosis for it and only a quarter have a current epinephrine prescription - EpiPens are used to treat severe allergic reactions. Another important finding is that half of adults with food allergies didn’t develop them until they were adults.
So what are the most common types of food allergies Americans have?
- Shellfish - affecting 7.2-million adults
- Milk - affecting 4.7-million
- Peanut - affecting 4.5-million
- Tree nut - affecting 3-million
- Fin fish - affecting 2.2-million
- Egg - affecting 2-million
- Wheat - affecting 2-million
- Soy - affecting 1.5-million
- Sesame - affecting half a million adults.
Source: The Takeout