Millions of Britons suffer ‘imaginary’ food intolerances

Three million Britons suffering from 'imaginary' food intolerances

Millions of Britons are denying themselves whole food groups under the misguided belief they are bad for them, according to researchers.

Of the 12 million Britons who claim to be intolerant to foods from wheat to tomatoes, only a quarter have been diagnosed by a doctor. Left to self-diagnosis, it is estimated that up to three million of them are wrongly convinced they’re sufferers – or they are just fussy eaters.

A survey carried out by food intolerance testing firm YorkTest, showed that one in 50 of the 1,500 questioned decided they suffered an intolerance on the basis of a friend’s diagnosis.

The research also showed that 19% believe they have a gluten intolerance, like presenter Carol Vorderman.

Self-diagnosis is likely to be flawed, leading people to unnecessarily – and sometimes detrimentally – cut whole food groups out of their diet.

Nutrition expert Patrick Holford tells the Daily Express: ‘Food intolerance symptoms aren’t as severe as food allergies, so many people might not want to worry their doctor about them.

‘By taking a simple and clinically proven test such as YorkTest, consumers can diagnose more than 130 potential culprit foods within a couple of weeks, saving months of guesswork.’ (18 September 2007)

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