Aging & Allergies

January 10, 2019


1 out of 10 Americans have a food allergy.

A new study shows a surprising number of sufferers developed reactions as adults.

(and a lot of us *believe* we have a food allergy when we really don’t).

What Are The Facts?


  • More than 160 foods cause allergic reactions.
  • Food allergies are anA immune system response. They can be managed by avoiding the allergen, but NEVER cured.
  • Symptoms range from mild (hives) to life-threatening (anaphylaxis).
  • Approx. 5% of U.S. children have a food allergy vs. approx.A 10% of adults (26M).

About The Study

Northwestern University scientists surveyed 40K American adults over a 2-year period. The findings:

  • Approx. 50% of adults with a food allergy developed it later in life.A
  • Adult-onset food allergies were equally common in those with & without a childhood food allergy.
  • Only half of adults with a “food allergy” had an official diagnosis.

Allergy v. Intolerance

According to Dr. Ruchi Gupta, one of the study’s co-authors, nearly 1 out of 5 American adults *believe* they have a food allergy; they most likely have a food sensitivity or intolerance.

Why do allergies start in adulthood? No one knows.

Most Common Food Allergies in America

  • Shellfish (ex: shrimp, lobster, crab)
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree NutsA (ex: cashews, walnuts)
  • Fin Fish (ex: tuna, salmon, halibut)
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Sesame

Of the 26 million U.S. adult with a food allergy, 12 million developed the allergy as adults. The most common adult-onset food allergies are shellfish, soy, tree nut & fin fish (halibut, salmon). Read about a new drug that might protect those with peanut allergies.

by Jenna Lee,