Fifth of DACH region have food intolerances

According to a recent poll, nearly one fifth of those living in Austria, Southern Germany and German-speaking Switzerland suffer from some form of food intolerance or allergy.

Fifth of DACH region have food intolerances
Photo: APA (epa)

You hear the cries in almost every restaurant these days — "No gluten, no dairy, no sugar" — as more and more people are suffering from food intolerances. 

According to a recent study of 1,000 Austrians, Southern Germans and German speaking Swiss, almost 17 ​​percent suffer from at least one form of food intolerance. Most have a lactose intolerance (11.5 percent) or are suffering from a histamine intolerance (10.4 percent). 
7.8 percent have or suspect a sorbitol intolerance. Gluten intolerances constitute 6.3 percent of complaints. 5.7 percent suffer from fructose intolerance, with galactose intolerance at 4.5 percent, and 4.1 percent do not tolerate sucrose.
The survey by the polling institute showed that women are more likely than men to suffer discomfort after eating.  In serious cases, symptoms of intolerance include nausea, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Six out of ten respondents have the impression that the number of people who suffer from a food intolerance has increased in recent years ("greatly increased": 23.4 percent; "increased somewhat": 37.5 percent).
Women from Austria in particular think that they recognize such a trend. This impression is particularly pronounced among those respondents who themselves suffer from a food intolerance. 
Those respondents who suffer from a food intolerance were then further questioned. The results showed that for two out of three, it took up to two years before they discovered that they suffer from a food intolerance. With 34.7 percent of respondents, the food intolerance has been confirmed by a doctor. 14.1 percent have received the diagnosis at an allergy centre.
85.9 percent have changed their diet as a result of an intolerance. 14.7 percent adhere strictly to dietary changes. In contrast, 22.3 percent feel strongly restricted by the intolerance in their quality of life.
14.1 percent have not changed anything despite intolerance to aspects of their diet. 41.8 percent of respondents occasionally take medication to compensate for their enzyme imbalance and to provide relief.
The DACH region consists of Deutschland (Germany), Austria and Switzerland.
At least in the case of lactose intolerance, according to Wikipedia a correlation has been found between such intolerance and race, suggesting there is a genetic component, as 75 percent of all African American, Jewish, Mexican American, and Native American adults are lactose intolerant.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

It is easier to face the summer heat with a proper cold drink in your hands. Austrians know that well and have created (or made popular) several delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Here are five you should try.

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

The debate of which is the perfect summer drink is undoubtedly a very controversial one.

While many people would argue that nothing can beat the Italian Aperol Spritz (which is also very popular in Austria), some would rather stay with a simple cold beer.

If you are team Spritz, then you should know that Austria has a love for things g’spritzt, with their own versions of sparkling drinks (with or without alcohol). However, for those who prefer a beer, the alpine country is home to several famous brands, including the Styrian Gösser, the Viennese Ottakringer, and Stiegl, from Salzburg.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat

In any case, when living or visiting a new country, it’s always fun to try out the traditional dishes and, in this case, beverages.

Here are five drinks you should try during the Austrian summer.

Hugo drink summer drink austria

Hugo is a very popular (and sweet) summer drink in Austria (Photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash)


Some say this is the Austrian answer to the Aperol Spritz, but its sweetness from the elderflower syrup makes it quite different from the bitter bright orange Aperol.

There is also a bit of controversy as to where this drink, which Austrians love to drink during a nice summer afternoon, originates.

Internationally, it seems to be widely accepted that this alcoholic aperitif comes from South Tyrol, a German-speaking region of Italy with deep Austrian roots. Ask any Austrian, though, and they will tell that just proves the drink is from Austria.

READ ALSO: Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

Italian or Austrian, the sweet drink is made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, seltzer and mint leaves. Serve it with lots of ice in a large glass, and you have a perfect summer drink.

white wine drinks party

Mix your white wine with sparkling water and you get a refreshing gespritzt (Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash)

weiß gespritzt

This is extremely popular, relatively cheap even in fancy restaurants, and somewhat controversial, but take some white wine and add a little sparkling water (sometimes ice) and you get a weiß gespritzt, or a g’spritzter.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

Not everyone appreciates mixing your wine with water, but it makes for a refreshing and lighter drink. In Austrian restaurants, you might be asked whether you want a summer gespritzt, which means it has higher water content and, therefore, is lighter, or a “normal” one.

It is by no means an Austrian drink, and you may have to ask for a Weinschorle instead of a Gespritzter in Germany, but it is a popular drink in the German world.

gösser radler drink

Austrian brands sell some of the most popular Radlers in Europe (Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash)


A Radler is another drink that though not from Austria, is extremely popular here. Not only that but some of the most popular Radlers are sold by Austrian brands.

Traditionally, all you need to make a Radler is to mix beer and lemonade. However, the drink is also found bottled and sold by beer companies such as Gösser and Ottakringer. The mix has also expanded and you can discover Radlers with a citrus or berry mix.

READ ALSO: Austrian old folks toast success of ‘Grandma and Grandpa’ beer

It is a lighter and sweeter beer, perfect for enjoying the summer with a fresh drink that is not so alcoholic.

Mixing apple juice and sparkling water creates a perfect non-alcoholic summer drink. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)


Following the Austrian love for adding sparkling water to drinks, a very common and non-alcoholic beverage is the Apfelspritz.

It is a mix of apple juice and (you guessed it) sparkling water. It is popular in Biergarten as a non-alcoholic alternative, with kids joining in on toasts with their apple and soda mix.

The drink is also very common in Germany (where it is known as Apfelschorle), Switzerland and Hungary.

READ ALSO: Cash and Schnapps: A guide to visiting pubs and cafes in Austria

almdualer gerhard schilling

Almdudler’s CEO Gerhard Schilling holds a bottle of the traditional Austrian drink (© Philipp Lipiarski)


Another option for a summer light and non-alcoholic drink is the Almdudler, which is technically the name of the Austrian brand that sells the famous carbonated soft drink.

The drink is a blend of 32 “natural alpine herbs, beet sugar and soda water”, according to the website. It has a very distinctive logo and can be found in almost all Austrian households – being one of the most popular beverages in the country.

Did we forget about your favourite summer drink? Then let us know in the comments below or send us an email at [email protected]