The case of Socmed and imagined food allergy
With new diet trends and food that ‘needs’ to be avoided emerging like gluten, more and more people are starting to get different food intolerance. A study conducted in Britain shows that this could very well be just in the mind.
Findings released by a leading wellness genetics company, DNAFit, show that almost half of British adults believe they have a food intolerance, despite only 15% having medical confirmation of this.
This condition, or as DNAFir call it, Nutrochondria is the ‘pre-occupation with negative details of one’s diet and a propensity to self-diagnose food intolerances or allergies based on supposition or flawed evidence’.
The study showed that 32 percent of adult respondents claimed to be lactose intolerant while 24 percent are self-proclaimed gluten intolerant. Among the respondents, the 25 to 35 age group was statistically the most likely to self-diagnose, with 57% of respondents believing they have an allergy or intolerance.
37% and 32% of 25-35 year olds stated that they avoided dairy and gluten, respectively, due to a supposed intolerance but only 5% had a medical diagnosis for either coeliac disease (gluten allergy) or lactose intolerance.
Nutrichondriacs are also self-diagnosing food intolerances with no medical evidence to back their claims up.
According to an article published by the Mirror co, UK 22 percent of Nutrichondriacs surveyed said they self-diagnosed after identifying with a celebrity who had showed the same symptoms they had.
Other reasons included reading an article about an intolerance, gaining weight, receiving advice from a friend or family member or wanting to emulate a social media influencer.