One in five Americans reports having at least one household member with a food allergy or intolerance, according to the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll.

Thomson Reuters and NPR developed the monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The latest survey in the series finds that among the 20 percent of U.S. households where someone has a food allergy or intolerance, milk and milk products were the most commonly cited problem (36 percent), followed by fruits (19 percent), vegetables (9 percent), peanuts (9 percent), shellfish (8 percent), gluten (7 percent) and wheat (6 percent). Food allergies were far more prevalent among respondents under 35 years of age (24 percent) than those in the 65+ age group (15 percent). Approximately-two thirds of households reporting food allergies said they had been diagnosed by a physician.

Among all respondents, a 59-percent majority said they support bans on common food allergens (such as peanuts) in public places such as airplanes and lunchrooms. Conversely, 49 percent of respondents said they felt food allergy fears have been blow out of proportion.

"I'm intrigued by the significant difference in reported allergies among those under 35 years old and those over 65 years old," said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer for the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "It appears that the younger generation is more acutely aware of food allergies and they are making dietary decisions based on this information."

"Parents hear a lot about food allergies these days as school systems exclude problem foods from their cafeterias and field trips," said Scott Hensley, NPR health correspondent and blogger. "These data show that most Americans don't object to the bans of foods, such as peanuts, from public places for safety's sake."

Source: Thomson Reuters Healthcare