How Many Foods Are Responsible for the Majority of Food Allergies?

Eight foods account for 90% of food allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These foods are soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, and other tree nuts. Allergic reaction can be mild to severe. Mild symptoms include hives, stomach pain, sneezing, diarrhea, and more. People with severe symptoms may have trouble swallowing, experience shortness of breath, lose consciousness, and more. Mild and severe symptoms can occur at the same time.

More about food allergies:

  • According to a School Health Policies and Programs study in 2006, 88% of schools had children with a food allergy.

  • Suspected food allergies should not be self-diagnosed, especially with children, as it can cause unnecessary dietary restrictions. Food allergies can be diagnosed by an allergist through a wither blood test, skin prick test, or trial elimination.

  • Anaphylaxis occurs in severe allergic reactions. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, swollen lips, vomiting, and reduced blood pressure.

More Info: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Discussion Comments


@Euroxati - Yes, I know for a fact that there are many people who don't like to talk about their food allergies. Based on what my friends have told me, the reason is just as you described, among other things as well.

There are many people who don't want to end up feeling like an outcast. Not to mention that if they're with their friends, they might even be isolated from social events.

For example, there's a possibility that one's friends could decide not to invite them out for pizza because of their gluten allergy. The friend takes this the wrong way, and assumes that he/she is being outcast.

However, in reality, the friends aren't inviting the gluten free person (without telling them) because they don't want to hurt his/her feelings, knowing that he/she can't eat what others can. See?

And to think that this is only a little example of what could arise if others find out that you have a food allergy. That's not to say that one should hide it, but it's important to take relationships into consideration.


Wow! The first bullet point really shocked me. Thank goodness that I don't have any kind of food allergy. However, that leads me to wonder, if eighty eight percent of schools have children with food allergies, then why don't you hear about it that often?

For example, during my high school and college years, I ate with people in the lunchroom all the time, and not once did I hear about people suffering from allergies.

It leads me to wonder if they decide not to reveal it because they see it as this huge secret that shouldn't be talked about. That's just my thought on the issue, but it's definitely something interesting to think about.


While I've never had a food allergy, I can only imagine how difficult it must be. The funny thing is that even though I don't have any allergies, I am able to relate because I have some friends who have food allergies.

Based on what they've told me about it, it certainly didn't sound like a pleasant experience. However, as the article states, some food allergies can be very minor, and shouldn't cause much trouble at all.

However, on the other hand, some food allergies can be extremely deadly and have been known to cause extreme reactions. This is especially the case with foods such as peanuts and shellfish.

Even though I don't have any food allergies, one thing that really concerns me about them is that for the most part, it seems like unless people have food allergies, they really don't care about them. It's an issue that often goes ignored.

For example, have you ever had something that you weren't able to relate to unless you were to have a similar experience? Well, that definitely seems to be the case here.

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