Almost a third of Brits self-diagnose food allergies and intolerances without seeking medical advice

Thursday, 31st May 2018, 9:37 am
Updated Thursday, 31st May 2018, 10:22 am

Foodie fads come and go but food allergies and intolerances appear to be constantly on trend as a new study has revealed how almost a third of Brits are misdiagnosing food allergies and intolerances.

The findings revealed today from DNAFit revealed how 45 per cent of Brits said they have a food allergy or intolerance whilst just 15 per cent have had it medically confirmed.

Most commonly, the research also revealed how one-in-three (32 per cent) believe they are lactose intolerant and one-in-four (24 per cent) are intolerant to gluten, despite only 5 per cent of people having had medical diagnoses for either condition.Although there are conflicting theories surrounding the health benefits of a gluten-free diet, coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease and not a food intolerance or an allergy. It affects around one in 100 people.

Lactose intolerance, which happens when the person cannot consume the type of sugar found in milk and dairy products, affects only around 5 per cent of the UK population.

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A third of survey respondents thought they were intolerant of dairy

Celebrity influence

The study also revealed the impact self diagnosis has on people's well being, relationships and bank balance. One in five people have had someone refuse a meal they cooked due to self-diagnosed dietary restrictions.

And worryingly 22 per cent of those surveyed believe they may have a food intolerance after hearing a celebrity talk about it.

The survey which was conducted by Censuswide surveyed 4,000 people on behalf of DNAFit as part of their research into '˜Nutrichondria' '“their term to describe the preoccupation with negative details of a person's diet and a tendency to self-diagnose food intolerances or allergies based on supposition or flawed evidence.

Avi Lasarow CEO of DNAFit said: 'Our Nutrichondria report highlights that whilst it is positive that people are starting to take measures to improve their collective health, worryingly many are making important choices and changes without taking safe advice first.

'Every one of us is different, and so by understanding our genetics we can unlock valuable insights that give us the best information to make positive wellness decisions.'

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