US, Germany, Italy and Norway top of the league table for food sensitivity

A study of more than 4,500 adults from 13 countries carried out by Imperial College London and published in the journal Allergy tested blood samples from antibodies to specific foods. Although carrying the antibodies and being ‘sensitised’ to a food does not guarantee that you will suffer an allergic reaction if you eat it, this is some guide to food sensitivity prevalence.

At the top end of the spectrum, about 25% of people in Portland, Oregon, in the US, displayed food sensitivity reactions; around 22% of Germans, Swede and Italians reacted as did 14% of Britons and French but only 11% of people in Iceland and Spain.

However, the researchers also discovered that countries tended to have similar specific foods that triggered reactions. Across countries, less than 1% of people had sensitivities to fish, eggs or milk, around 5% of people were sensitive to peaches, shrimp and wheat while 7% of people had sensitivity to hazelnuts.

Those patterns were fairly consistent across countries – more consistent than would be expected by chance.

Courtesy of the Guardian

First published in March 2010

More miscellaneous research reports on food allergy

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