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One in Four Americans Eat Gluten-free Foods for Weight-loss
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Jefferson Adams

Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.

He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.

 
By Jefferson Adams
Published on 11/15/2013
 

With the recent FDA ruling on gluten-free labeling standards, the popularity of gluten-free foods continues unabated. The North American market currently accounts for 59% of a global gluten-free market that shows no signs of slowing down, and which is projected to hit $6.2 billion by 2018.


Celiac.com 11/15/2013 - With the recent FDA ruling on gluten-free labeling standards, the popularity of gluten-free foods continues unabated. The North American market currently accounts for 59% of a global gluten-free market that shows no signs of slowing down, and which is projected to hit $6.2 billion by 2018.

Image: CC--Mike LichtAs major force driving that market growth, according to recent research from Mintel, the influence of people with gluten intolerance or gluten-sensitivity is being vastly eclipsed by the influence of ordinary people who are turning to gluten-free products in an effort to lose weight.

Indeed, 65% of consumers who eat or used to eat gluten-free foods do so because they think they are healthier, and 27% eat them because they feel they aid in their weight loss efforts.

In fact, 36% of Americans say they eat gluten-free foods for reasons other than sensitivity. Meanwhile, 7% say they eat them for inflammation and 4% say they purchase them to combat depression.

The view that gluten-free foods are healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts is one of the main drivers for the market, says Mintel food analyst, Amanda Topper.

"It's really interesting to see that consumers think gluten-free foods are healthier and can help them lose weight," Topper adds, "because there's been no research affirming these beliefs."

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