·A recent study reveals 1 in 3 adults is a Nutrichondriac. Do you suffer from self-diagnosing your food intolerances? If so the condition could have a drastic impact on everything from their wellbeing, relationships and bank balance.
At a time when we are becoming more fixated than ever before on diet and nutrition, people are turning into Nutrichondriacs according to findings released today by DNAFit – the UK’s leading wellness genetics company.
According to the study which has defined the Nutrichondria condition, almost half the adult population (45%) state they have a food allergy or intolerance, yet just 15% have had this medically confirmed. For the remaining 30% their self-diagnosis could have a drastic impact on everything from their wellbeing, relationships and bank balance.
The age of intolerance
In recent years, it has become increasingly common for people to declare and self-diagnose an intolerance and change their diet accordingly. The findings reveal one-in-three (32%) adults now believe that they are lactose intolerant and one-in-four (24%) intolerant to gluten, commonly found in wheat, barley and rye. These figures spike in the 25-35 age group at 37% for dairy and 32% for gluten respectively. Yet only 5% have had medical diagnoses for either condition.
The reasons why Nutrichondriacs self-diagnose are mixed, varied and rarely scientific. The cause for over 1/5 of people (22%) is identifying with a celebrity who has exhibited similar symptoms (22%) followed by receiving advice from a friend or family member 18%), reading an article about intolerance (17%), sudden weight gain (12%) or via an influencer on social media (9%).
With the ambition of helping individuals adapt their lifestyle and diet by showing how genetics can play a role in personalised health, DNAFit dived further into this newly discovered approach to diet.
The company’s home-test provides users with a breakdown of their macro and micronutrient needs, identifies potential food sensitivities and offers a guided diet plan based on their genetic pre-dispositions. Providing an award-winning, easy to understand report as well as personal consultations with its team of experts - DNAFit hopes to arm consumers with the right knowledge to tackle the Nutrichondria epidemic head on.
Who is at risk?
According to the study it is the 25-34 age group who are most likely to suffer from Nutrichondria. A huge 57% of people in that age category believe they have an intolerance or allergy at some point, compared to just 28% for those aged over 55.
Over half (52%) of 25-34 year olds also said they would consider following a gluten free diet even if they weren’t diagnosed with any medical reasons to do so. Yet this would mean cutting out wheat and grains that are proven to have cardiovascular benefits and avoiding popular, social food and drink such as bread, pasta and beer, whilst also paying up to 17% more for gluten-free alternatives.
Remarkably the study also revealed that 7% of young Brits aged 16-24 now refuse to eat vegetables in the belief that they are intolerant to them, despite no medical diagnoses.
What is the impact?
Nutrichondria comes at another price: friendship and relationships. One in five people asked admitted they would decline an invite to dine with someone who had a self-imposed food allergy. On top of this, a huge 40% of people have at some point had a meal they prepared snubbed by someone who had self-diagnosed a food allergy.
Indeed, case studies undertaken alongside the report found some participants that had omitted a food group from their lives for over 20 years, only to find they didn’t suffer from their suspected intolerence at all
What is the solution?
With 1 in 3 suspected to be a Nutrichondriac there is a need to help people better understand their bodies to ensure accurate diagnosis. 75% of people said they would consider taking a home test to find out what food they should be eating or avoiding, but 80% have never considered a DNA test to determine this information.
With DNAFit offering a home swab-kit, it is now easier than ever for consumers to receive accurate information that will help them understand their body’s needs and deficiencies.
Are you interested in having a DNA personalised health and nutrition plan? Click here for more info.