Food Equality Initiative Podcast: Free-From

Scripted Version of the Psychological Effects Of Food Allergies

The Psychological effects of Food Allergies 

Food is everywhere in our society and is an important feature in our social activities, particularly for children. From birthday celebrations, to restaurants and family trips, food is an essential fixture with how we communicate with each other and how we can communicate with our bodies. If we understand that food is a common communicator for our personal and social interactions, can food intolerance and food allergies adversely affect social and mental health? Can food allergies affect interactions and activities? How does having a food allergy affect families? These are some of the questions we will explore in today’s episode. 

Welcome to the Free-from Podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping individuals with restricted diets realize the fullest potential in their food. I am your host, Sofia and on today's episode we will talk about the adverse effects of food allergies through a social and psychological lens. 


A Food allergy is more than physical, it can impact the emotional lives of the experienced and their families. Most who experience these barriers would say that their food allergies would increase stress levels and impair their quality of life. Some of these concerns include traveling, attending birthday parties, important school functions and fear/anxiety in the family home. These emotional symptoms can cause food avoidance and lack of understanding from peers. 

Between the months of January and June 2006 in the Chicago area, Dr. Ruchi S Gupta, founding director for the Center of Allergy and Asthma Research, conducted a study to test the knowledge, attitude and beliefs around food intolerance and allergy. The study included (3) groups of parents and their children with food allergies, (3) groups of physicians and (2) groups of the general public. The study found that the participants who did not experience food allergies had a significant gap of knowledge on the subject and that alone affected the quality of life for families who had food allergies.

When we come back, we will speak with (possibly) board-certified pediatrician, health researcher and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr.Gupta for her extensive information on food allergy research and its advocacy. This is the Free-From Podcast.

Possible Sponsor

Possible Interview questions with Dr.Gupta  

Welcome back to the Free-From Podcast everyone and thank you Dr.Gupta for coming on today's show. We are talking about the psychological effects of having food allergies and we are so happy to hear your input.  Please, tell us..

Do you believe there is a connection between food allergies and mental health? (Opening starter question)

Can you explain the difference between food related anxiety and depression? What would you say are some of the physical symptoms? Are they comparable to having an allergic attack?

Within the misconceptions of what a food allergy is, what are some adverse psychological effects that you’ve seen in families and children?

Beyond research, what are some resources you recommend for families experiencing mental distress that are tied into food allergies?

Have you seen equal or more disparities within food allergies and mental health  with your research in pertinence to underprivileged communities?

What would you like to see in the future for communities that experience mental distress that's tied to food allergies?

You’ve given fantastic information on this subject but, is there anything else you would like to tell our audience?

Well thank you, Dr. Gupta for having this powerful discussion on today’s episode of Free-From Podcast. 

You can find the Free-From Podcast on all major platforms. And to hear more about the FEI mission, please visit I am your Host Sofia and this is the Free-From Podcast.

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