Food allergies are nothing short of terrifying—especially if they’re severe. And, unfortunately, they seem to be skyrocketing. At least that’s the takeaway from a scary new report that found that insurance claims for diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions (a life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause a person’s throat to close) have increased 377 percent across the country between 2007 and 2016. But it’s not totally clear what that jump actually means.
The findings are courtesy of FAIR Health, a national non-profit that has access to 24 billion health insurance claims filed by 150 million people. Per the company’s data, claims for food-related anaphylaxis increased steadily from 2007 until 2012. At that point, the rate suddenly jumped up and continued increasing each year at a faster pace. The most common foods that caused someone to suffer from anaphylaxis were peanuts (26 percent), tree nuts and seeds (18 percent), eggs (7 percent), shellfish (6 percent), and milk products (5 percent).