74% of people with food allergies and food intolerances surveyed still find it hard to eat out and nearly half are missing meals because of it.
Doves Farm has carried out a survey amongst its consumer base to find out how food intolerances and allergies have affected their lives.
In summary the survey responses revealed the following key statistics:
42% of respondents cited themselves as having a food intolerance with 80% of them following a gluten-free diet, with the majority of respondents having waited over 1 year to get diagnosed (63%). Interestingly 35% cited that their parents or sibling also suffered a similar condition.
When asked about how their food intolerance or allergy affected their social lives, 66% of respondents found it difficult to eat outside of their home, with 54% saying it had caused them to miss a meal and 48% saying it had prevented them accepting a social invite.
When asked about how easy it was to find suitable foods for their diets, the UK supermarkets came out positively with 83% saying they found it easy to purchase the right food. However, when it came to eating out 74% of respondents said they still found it hard to eat out in restaurants, with similar results for service stations and vending machines.
The survey asked how people who had food allergies or intolerances were treated, over half reported that their diet was negatively commented on, with friends and family being the worst perpetrators.
On a positive note, 42% of respondents felt that having a food allergy or intolerance actually made them feel healthier. Although when asked what foods they missed most the top answers included pastry, puddings and pies!