Statistics

More than a quarter of a million Quebecers live with food allergies

  • It is estimated that approximately 300,000 people in Quebec have food allergies, representing 4% of the province’s population. Health Canada’s estimates are even higher:

According to a recent publication [i], approximately 7% of Canadians self-report a food allergy. However, fewer are likely to have a physician-diagnosed food allergy, which are estimated at prevalence levels up to 5-6% for young children and 3-4% for adults in westernized countries [ii] [iii].

  • 40,000 children in Quebec elementary schools have food allergies [iv].
  • 7% of Quebec families have at least one allergic person (parents, family, friends, office colleagues, business partners, etc.) [v].
  • The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec estimates that 6% of babies, 3% of children aged 10 years and over, and approximately 1 to 2% of adults are affected by one or more food allergies. [vi]

Food allergies can be caused by a wide variety of foods

  • Nine foods are responsible for more than 90% of allergic reactions: cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, nuts (walnut, hazelnut, almond, cashew, pecan and pistachio), mustard, fish and seafood [vii].
  • In Canada, more than 160 foods have been identified as triggers for allergic reactions [viii].

The majority of children outgrow their allergies before the age of 7

  • 76% of milk allergies are outgrown before the age of 5 [ix].
  • 75% of egg allergies are outgrown before the age of 7 [x].
  • 80% of wheat allergies are outgrown before the age of 5 [xi].
  • Only 20% of peanut allergies are outgrown before the age of 7 [xii].

 

[i] Overall Prevalence of Self-reported Food Allergy in Canada, L. Soller et al, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012). doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.06.029
[ii] Prevalence and cumulative incidence of food hypersensitivity in the first 3 years of life. C Venter et al, Allergy 2008: 63: 354-359.
Maternally reported food allergies and other food-related health problems in infants: Characteristics and associated factors. S Luccioli et al. Pediatrics, volume 122, sup. 2, S105-S112, Octobre 2008.
Prevalence of adverse reactions to food in Germany – A population study. T Zuberbier et al. Allergy 2004: 59: 338-345.
The prevalence of food hypersensitivity in an unselected population of children and adults. M Osterballe et al. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2005: 16: 567-573.
[iii] Santé Canada, Les allergies alimentaires et les intolérances alimentaires, https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/services/aliments-nutrition/salubrite-aliments/allergies-alimentaires-intolerances-alimentaires.html#fn1, consulté le 18 juillet 2019.
[iv] Dufresne Claire, Vivre avec les allergies alimentaires, Montréal, Les éditions la presse. 2009, 253p.
[v] Étude nationale Ipsos Reid, 2001.
[vi] Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (2013). Allergies alimentaires.
Retrieved from : http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/sujets/santepub/nutrition/index.php?allergies_enfants [Accessed : 19 Nov 2013].
[vii] Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. (2000) Peanut and tree nut allergy. Curr Opin Pediatr, 12 (6), 567-573.
Hefle SL, Nordlee JA, Taylor SL. (1996) Allergenic foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 36 (Suppl), S69-89
[viii] Sans noix ni loi ». Dussault, Stéphan. Protégez-vous, janvier 2002, p. 19-21.
[ix] [x] [xi] [xii] Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among U.S. children: Trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. NCHS data brief, no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.

Join the allergic community

To get the latest news and benefit from free services, subscribe to  Allergy Quebec’s newsletter. By doing so, you will automatically become a member of the association free of charge.

Join the allergic community

To get the latest news and benefit from free services, subscribe to  Allergy Quebec’s newsletter. By doing so, you will automatically become a member of the association free of charge.