Survey reveals what people think of celiac disease and gluten-free diet

Lana Bandoim's picture

Do people really understand celiac disease and the gluten-free diet? A new survey reveals that more education about this condition and diet is needed. A poll of 2,205 people in the United States showed that 64 percent believe a gluten-free diet is not necessary for most people to follow. In addition, the survey confirmed the trend others have noticed about the diet being viewed as a fad.

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Celiac disease requires that patients follow a gluten-free diet as part of the treatment plan, but there are many people who have adopted it without having this medical condition. In the survey, 39 percent admitted that they did not have a medical need for the gluten-free diet, yet they still followed it. This has led to confusion in the media and public about the requirements related to the actual disorder.

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Gluten-free food tends to cost more than regular items, and this has not escaped the public’s notice. The poll showed that 87 percent believe brands are overcharging people and doing it on purpose. However, the anger over prices is mixed with gratitude that more items without the dangerous protein are available on store shelves, and 67 percent like the increased gluten-free options.

The holidays are also being affected by celiac disease and diet changes, and 16 percent state they will have gluten-free food during this season. The gluten-free industry has reached $6 billion and continues to expand around the world. Sales are expected to increase as more people switch to the gluten-free diet for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a medical diagnosis is not the incentive needed for the change because consumers are making their own decisions about their health. However, there are those who continue to view the diet as a fad and stigmatize the condition.

Read more about celiac disease:
Gluten-free gift ideas for celiac disease sufferers
Researchers work on new celiac disease medications

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