A study found that one third of adults who are gluten or lactose intolerant were “fed on food” because of their dietary needs or preferences.
They are accused of lying about particular dietary needs, while others are told that they are “delusional” (38%) and “only following trends” (20%) when specifying what they cannot eat.
And despite highlighting their dietary needs, almost half received meals or drinks containing the same ingredients that they are unable to consume.
But rather than causing confusion, a fifth will eat food they are intolerant of, knowing that they will have to suffer the consequences later.
The study, conducted on 2000 adults commissioned by the creators of the digestive enzyme range, EatEnjoy, found that about a fifth have food intolerance of some kind – with the most common lactose and gluten.
And those with intolerance have claimed that their dietary needs have become more difficult since the blockade.
One in 10 has a hard time finding specialized foods that meet their needs and a similar number have no choice but to eat the foods they normally avoid.
Tom Zivanovic, spokesman for EatEnjoy, said: “As the study shows, there is an unfounded degree of cynicism towards those who have a food intolerance.
“The reality is that living with food sensitivities can be difficult: those who suffer from the wrong foods can experience considerable discomfort.
“This inevitably means that the range of culinary options available to them is vastly reduced – and without help it can compromise their enjoyment of food.”
Research also found that 70% of sufferers believe that the wider population tends to be cynical about their intolerances – claiming they don’t appreciate how difficult it is to have one.
In fact, according to the EatEnjoy study conducted through OnePoll, a quarter was embarrassed after being criticized for his food intolerance.
Others got angry (32 percent) and suffered from anxiety (22 percent).
But while two thirds believe that their dietary needs are taken less seriously than those of people with food allergy, about half of the survey respondents admitted that it is not entirely clear what the difference is between food intolerance and a food allergy.
Four out of 10 adults are of the opinion that most of those on a gluten-free diet simply follow the trends.
Similarly, 39% admit that they feel the same way for those who have dairy-free diet.
Tom Zivanovic added: “It is really important that as many of us are able to enjoy the food we love, in fact, this is one of the driving forces behind
EatEnjoy range of digestive enzyme supplements.
“EatEnjoy products provide the body with additional enzymes that help digest food, from dairy products for those with lactose intolerance, to gluten-rich foods for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
“This helps people enjoy their favorite meals without worrying about the unpleasant symptoms of food intolerance.”
The EatEnjoy range – including EatEnjoy Glutalytic, EatEnjoy Dairy and
EatEnjoy Balance – is available at Holland & Barrett, Amazon, independent pharmacies and health food stores.