A new poll has shown that millions of people in the UK have self-diagnosed a food intolerance, and may be avoiding key foods as a result.
The study conducted by a testing firm called Yorktest has revealed that less than a quarter of 12 million of the people, who claim to be food intolerant, have had their condition formally diagnosed.
AdvertisementWhile many of the nine million people also claiming to be intolerant may well be so, the study suggests that they may just be fussy.
About 40 per cent of the 1,500 people polled considered being intolerant to be trendy, and many blamed celebrities.
Actress Rachel Weisz's intolerance of wheat, Rod Stewart's former wife Rachel Hunter's intolerance of lactose, and TV presenter Carol Vorderman's being a gluten were some of the examples that emerged during the poll.
While people declared themselves to be intolerant of a range of foods, grapefruit and sushi were declared to be key culprits.
Food intolerances are not as severe as food allergies, but their symptoms can be uncomfortable, ranging from a stuffy nose to aching joints and nausea.
Nutritionist Tanya Haffner, however, feels that the complaints of various problems, which people think are the results of food intolerances, may be related to a number of other conditions.
She suggests it is important to seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.
"You may be cutting out something you don't need to which might be putting your nutritional health and your longer-term health at risk," the BBC quoted her as saying.