Living With Food Allergies

My Life With Food Allergy: Parent Survey Report

Experts estimate that 6 million children in the U.S. are affected by food allergy, along 26 million adults.1,2 The numbers keep increasing, along with the public health burden. It is critical that we discuss better ways to not only manage food allergies, but to also better support people with food allergies and their families.

In 2019, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and its food allergy division, Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) conducted a three-part study titled “My Life With Food Allergy.” These surveys aimed to understand the burden of food allergy from three populations:

  • Parents of children with food allergies
  • Teen/young adult patients with food allergies
  • Adults with food allergies

This survey sought insights on the following topics:

  • Experience with food allergy diagnosis, symptoms and allergic reactions, current treatments
  • Emotional, social, financial impact of food allergies on the caregiver (parent)
  • Parent-reported emotional and social impact on the patient (child)
  • Challenges in navigating school, dining and social activities
  • Confidence in daily food allergy management
  • Awareness of and thoughts about future treatment
     

The first report from this study – the My Life With Food Allergy: Parent Survey Report – is a summary of the emotional, social and financial impact on the parent or caregiver of a child with food allergies. This document focuses on select data from the parent survey. In some sections of the report, data from the patient surveys have been included for comparison.

The report analyzed responses from 1,234 parents of children with food allergy, resulting in three key findings.  

Key Findings

Due to the breadth of topics covered by the survey, responses provided a great deal of insights into patient and caregiver experiences, beliefs and knowledge. Throughout this report, the most notable data presented will focus on these three key findings:

Mental and emotional impact of food allergy on parents is greater than the impact on patients themselves.

  • Parent caregivers report a higher burden than do patients age 13 and over.
  • FA has a major impact on many parents’ mental, social and emotional well-being.
  • Fear, anxiety and worry were common themes throughout the survey’s responses from parents.

Food allergies have considerable impact on parents’ social lives.

  • Families experience a loss of normalcy leading to adjustments in decision making and daily routines.
  • Parents report skipping events including school functions due to food allergies.
  • Birthday parties, traveling, dining out and entertainment activities present challenges for parents.

Food allergies cause significant financial strain and time burden for parents.

  • For some families, daily realities and needs for caring for children with food allergies present a major financial burden.
  • Some families have had to make career decisions based on food allergies, leading to negative financial impact on the entire household.
  • Food allergies can also present a major time burden for some families.

 

 

The survey offers insight on other details, such as the impact food allergies can have on career choices, eating out, family traditions and more. Read or download the My Life With Food Allergy: Parent Survey Report to learn more.

 

 

Click on >> to open in Presentation Mode to see the document in full screen. Tap your screen or space bar to advance through the pages to read the report.  

 

 

Join our online community to continue the discussion about our My Life With Food Allergy: Parent Survey Report, as well as ways we can all work together to raise awareness. Our forums also give you the chance to talk with other parents about the impact food allergy has had on your family in a supportive and encouraging environment.

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The My Life With Food Allergy parent survey is an independent research project of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America with support from DBV Technologies.
 

References
1. Gupta, R.S., Warren, C.M., Smith, B.M., Blumenstock, J.A., Jiang, J., Davis, M.M. Nadeau, K.C. (2018). The Public Health Impact of Parent-Reported Childhood Food Allergies in the United States. Pediatrics 142(6). doi:10.1542/peds.2018-1235.
2. Gupta, R. S., Warren, C. M., Smith, B. M., Jiang, J., Blumenstock, J. A., Davis, M. M., . . . Nadeau, K. C. (2019). Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA Network Open,2(1). doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5630