Nation reveals most hard to live with allergies…

Recent research suggests as a nation we are still struggling to understand our allergies…


  • 26% say leading a gluten-free life is most hard to live with
  • A third (32%) struggle to go to a restaurant
  • A quarter (25%) fear going abroad incase fed the wrong foods
  • One fifth (19%) dread going to a friends house


Of the millions of Brits (estimated 14 million*) with allergies and intolerances a quarter (26%) have declared that leading a gluten-free life is the hardest allergy or intolerance to live with. The research by Udi’s Gluten Free cited that most problems occur with restaurants (home & abroad) and friends still giving them foods they can no longer eat!

Whilst not a reflection of the severity of the different allergies and their effects, the research revealed that dairy-free (23%) and suffering a nut allergy (18%) were close contenders in the most hard to live with allergies and intolerances, whilst being vegetarian (5%) and having an allergy to shellfish (3%), in comparison, were by far easier to deal with.


Top 5 allergies and intolerances to live with:

  1. Gluten Free 26%
  2. Dairy Free 23%
  3. Nut Allergy 18%
  4. Egg Free 12%
  5. Lactose Free 9%

The recent introduction of the EU’s Food Information Regulation rules has seen many restaurants adapting their menus to show allergen labelling to help customers who suffer from an allergy or intolerance, however a third (32%), claim that there’s still a struggle when choosing what to eat with gluten-free options remaining limited.

Shockingly a quarter (25%) will debate whether to go on holiday or not because other countries do not understand the importance of their dietary requirements and just under a fifth (19%) find it difficult to eat at a friend’s house in fear of being fed the wrong foods.


Top five struggles of being gluten free

  1. Eating out in a restaurant (32%)
  2. Going on holiday/ abroad (25%)
  3. Eating out at a friends house (19%)
  4. Being fed gluten accidently (15%)
  5. Hosting guests & cooking at home (3%)

Holly Wales, product development director, at Udi’s Gluten Free comments; “Despite supermarkets shelves piled high with gluten-free options, there still remains an underlying problem with restaurants and friends who don’t understand or know how to cater for those leading a gluten-free life.

“With allergies and intolerances on the rise, the fact that people are fearing going to a restaurant, to a friends house or debating whether to go abroad or not is extremely worrying and more needs to be done. We know that there is still a lack of understanding regarding coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.”

Maybe the problem lies here within; just 14% of young adults recognise the symptoms of gluten intolerance; with 9% thinking ‘coeliac’ is a famous Italian restaurant! However, as a nation, 91% claim to know what coeliac disease is, but of those, a muddled 2/3rds don’t know what the symptoms are!

Confusion continues with more than 3 in 10 Brits believing that gluten is a type of carbohydrate found in potatoes, breads and pasta. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 do not realise pasta is not suitable for those with coeliac disease and the same have no idea beer can contain gluten.

Research conducted by the Allergy & Free From Show on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. Sample size 1,300 of those living with an allergy or intolerance

Additional research conducted by Mortar London, sample size 1,000 of the UK population

* YouGov Research 2015 – Understanding food allergies and intolerances – the consumer viewpoint.

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