New Study on Allergies & Food Bans

Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll: One-in-Five US Households Have Food Allergies

Majority Support Bans on Common Food Allergens in Public Places

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- One in five Americans reports having at least one household member with a food allergy or intolerance, according to the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll.

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Thomson Reuters and NPR developed the monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The latest survey in the series finds that among the 20 percent of U.S. households where someone has a food allergy or intolerance, milk and milk products were the most commonly cited problem (36 percent), followed by fruits (19 percent), vegetables (9 percent), peanuts (9 percent), shellfish (8 percent), gluten (7 percent) and wheat (6 percent). Food allergies were far more prevalent among respondents under 35 years of age (24 percent) than those in the 65+ age group (15 percent). Approximately-two thirds of households reporting food allergies said they had been diagnosed by a physician.

Among all respondents, a 59-percent majority said they support bans on common food allergens (such as peanuts) in public places such as airplanes and lunchrooms. Conversely, 49 percent of respondents said they felt food allergy fears have been blow out of proportion.

"I'm intrigued by the significant difference in reported allergies among those under 35 years old and those over 65 years old," said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer for the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "It appears that the younger generation is more acutely aware of food allergies and they are making dietary decisions based on this information."

"Parents hear a lot about food allergies these days as school systems exclude problem foods from their cafeterias and field trips," said Scott Hensley, NPR health correspondent and blogger. "These data show that most Americans don't object to the bans of foods, such as peanuts, from public places for safety's sake."

For a copy of the poll results, visit

To date, Thomson Reuters and NPR have addressed numerous healthcare topics, gauging sentiment on generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food safety and other issues. NPR's reports on the surveys (including this latest one) are archived here:

Thomson Reuters also offers a library of past poll results:

The Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Thomson Reuters PULSE(SM) Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll, which collects information about health behavior, attitudes and utilization from more than 100,000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3,014 participants interviewed from June 1-12, 2011. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to

About NPR

NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

SOURCE Thomson Reuters Healthcare

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