Food Allergies - A Growing Problem

More than 30 million people in the U.S. and Europe currently live with food allergies.1,2,3,4 And that number continues to grow. Nearly 1 in every 5 children in the U.S. with an allergic reaction to peanut visits the ER, amounting to about 400,000 visits each year.5 People with peanut allergy and evidence of serious allergic reactions have been shown to have significantly higher healthcare resource utilization and direct costs compared to those without.6

Reactions to Common Food Allergens

While more than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions, 8 major food allergens are responsible for most of the serious food allergy reactions in the U.S.7:

  • Peanuts

  • Eggs

  • Tree nuts

  • Milk

  • Wheat

  • Soy

  • Fish

  • Crustacean shellfish

When exposed to a trigger food, allergic individuals can experience reactions ranging from mild to severe:

  • Mild—transient skin hive, tingling around the mouth, and gastrointestinal discomfort

  • Moderate—persistent hives, wheezing, abdominal discomfort, and increased vomiting

  • Severe—labored breathing and transient low blood pressure, which may require medical intervention and possible hospitalization

In some cases, the allergic reaction can be life threatening.

Focus Areas

Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies, affecting more than 6 million people in the U.S. and Europe.8,9,10 It can be a lifelong condition that 8 in 10 children with peanut allergy will never outgrow.11


  • 1. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from

  • 2. United States Census Bureau Quick Facts (2015 estimates).

  • 3. Gupta RS, et al. Pediatrics 2011;128(1):e9-17.

  • 4. EAACI. Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Public Declaration.

  • 5. Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. The public health impact of parent-reported childhood food allergies in the United States. Pediatrics. 2018;142(6):e20181235

  • 6. Tilles S, Birchwood C, Robison D, Damle V, Norrett K, Hass S, Guérin A, Latremouille-Viau D. Healthcare Resource Utilization and Direct Healthcare Cost Related to Peanut Allergy in Medicaid Patients. Poster presented at: Academy of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Conference; 2019 Mar 25-28; San Diego, CA.

  • 7. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States: Report of the NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel. 2010. Retrieved from

  • 8. Prescott SL, Pawankar R, Allen KJ, et al. A global survey of changing patterns of food allergy burden in children. World Allergy Organ J 2013; 6: 21.

  • 9. Chafen JJ, Newberry SJ, Riedl MA, et al. Diagnosing and managing common food allergies: a systematic review. JAMA 2010; 303: 1848–56.

  • 10. Nwaru BI, Hickstein L, Panesar SS, et al. Prevalence of common food allergies in Europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Allergy 2014; 69: 992–1007.

  • 11. Groetch M, Sampson H. 48 – Management of Food Allergy. Pediatric Allergy: Principles and Practice (Third Edition), 2016, Pages 420-429.