[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Many 'imagine' food intolerance
Rachel Weisz
Those polled said celebrities had made food intolerances 'trendy'
Millions of people in the UK have self-diagnosed a food intolerance and may be avoiding key foods as a result, a poll by a testing firm suggests.

Less than a quarter of the 12m people who claim to be food intolerant have had their condition formally diagnosed.

While many of the nine million who also claim to be intolerant may well be so, it is suggested they may just be fussy.

Nearly 40% of the 1,500 people polled by Yorktest thought it trendy to be intolerant and many blamed celebrities.

Actress Rachel Weisz for instance has a well-publicised wheat intolerance, TV presenter Carol Vorderman a gluten one, and Rod Stewart's former wife, Rachel Hunter, a lactose intolerance.

Vague symptoms

The range of foods people declared themselves intolerant of was diverse, but grapefruit and sushi were declared by those polled to be key culprits.

You may be cutting out something you don't need to which might be putting your nutritional health and your longer term health at risk
Tanya Haffner
Nutritionist

Food intolerances are not as severe as food allergies, which in severe cases can prevent people from breathing properly.

But symptoms can nonetheless be uncomfortable, ranging from a stuffy nose to aching joints and nausea.

However the wide variety of complaints which people pin on food intolerances could be related to a number of other conditions.

Nutritionist Tanya Haffner said it was important to seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

"You may be cutting out something you don't need to which might be putting your nutritional health and your longer term health at risk," she says.




SEE ALSO
9.6m food allergy study begins
11 Oct 05 |  Norfolk
Teens' allergy fears 'mistaken'
07 Oct 05 |  Health



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific