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The proportion of the UK population with food allergy is approximately 1-2% of adults and about 5-8% of children, which equates to about 1.5 million people.
Acute, severe food allergy probably affects half a million people.
The prevalence of food allergy is at its highest in young children (about one in 17 children). In most cases the allergy is mild. Around 80-90 per cent of children outgrow their sensitivity by the age of five. Children are very likely to outgrow and allergy to milk, eggs, soya or wheat. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish or fish are less frequently outgrown.
A House of Commons report in 2004 said the prevalence of peanut allergy among children may now be as high as one in 50 – a quarter of a million children.
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