Self-reported Food Allergy and Intolerance among College Undergraduates: Associations with Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms

the Spit for Science Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of food allergy (FA) and intolerance and estimate associations with anxiety and depression in a diverse sample of young adults. Participants: Undergraduates at a major university (n = 1,574) enrolled in the Spit for Science cohort study. Methods: Participants completed self-report assessments of current FA and/or intolerance as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms using the Symptom Checklist-90. Results: The estimated prevalence of any current, physician-diagnosed FA was 7.6% (n = 119), while 14.6% (n = 227) reported at least one food intolerance. The most reported allergies were tree nut (3.1%) and peanut (2.6%). Any FA was associated with higher depressive symptom scores (β: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.03–1.54). Any food intolerance was associated with higher depressive (β: 1.26; 95% CI: 0.70–1.83) and anxiety (β: 1.19; 95% CI: 0.71–1.67) symptom scores. Conclusion: Living with a FA and/or intolerance is associated with greater internalizing symptoms among a cohort of US college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of College Student Psychotherapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Food allergy
  • anxiety
  • college students
  • depression
  • food intolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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