How Common Are Food Allergies?

Bottom Line: Survey data suggest at least 1 in 10 U.S. adults are food allergic and nearly 1 in 5 believe they have a food allergy. Food allergies are expensive and potentially life-threatening conditions. In this nationally representative survey study of more than 40,000 U.S. adults, nearly half of food-allergic adults developed allergies during adulthood, many reported being allergic to multiple foods, and 38 percent reported at least one food allergy–related emergency department visit in their lifetime. Shellfish allergy was the most common, followed by milk, peanut, tree nut and fin fish. Self-reported food allergies by study participants weren’t confirmed by diagnosis.

Authors: Ruchi S. Gupta, M.D., M.P.H., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, and coauthors


Visual Abstract

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.