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Horrible Slate Article


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#16 FMcGee

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:34 PM

I just don't think the article was trying to say that people SHOULDN'T avoid gluten if they're not diagnosed celiacs. I think it's just bringing up questions about an interesting trend. I do think there are some very under-informed people out there who might associate it with a low-carb diet, and the author was discussing gluten-free diets in the context of other fads, like the Atkins diet. I don't think he was saying anyone who avoids gluten is doing something wrong, but it's worth examining a quickly-rising trend from multiple perspectives.
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#17 Rissmeek

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 03:42 PM

The most commonly cited statistic on this board is 1 in 133 which is 0.75%. The "false stats" are no more false than the stats cited on this board almost daily.


I'm sorry I got my percentage rate confused, but it felt like he was diminishing the amount of people that are truly effected by gluten. I'm not gluten-free don't plan on becoming gluten-free. My husband is though and I've seen the suffering that he has gone through and the way people look at him funny when he explains it. Like he is talking in a foreign language. I for one could give a rat's butt why or how the shelves in regular grocery stores are getting stocked with gluten-free products, I'm just happy he has options readily available. I don't like it when someone acts like it's all in his head though and that he is again the only person in the world that has it.
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#18 hannahp57

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 04:01 PM

They referred to gluten as a "dietary bogeyman"! Can you say insulting? That, to me, says that they think we're all just afraid of some pretend monster... grrr. i bet they wouldnt dismiss it so easily if they have ever dealt with ANY allergy or intolerance
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#19 FMcGee

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 04:12 PM

I think I'm really missing something here. How is "bogeyman" insulting? It's saying it's something people are worried about. I don't think he's say AT ALL that some people are making things up and don't feel better when they're off gluten. I think he's saying we need to look more at why (is it because they're just paying more attention to what they eat in general?) and why people are doing it without medical indication - but not saying that doing it without medical indication is bad, or means it's all in your head, or anything. And he certainly isn't diminishing what happens to celiacs who eat gluten; it's just that the article isn't about that. Again, I guess it's my background, but I think these are questions we should be asking, and the more we look into things, in general, the better informed we all are. If people never ask why non-celiacs sometimes respond badly to gluten, we'll never find out, you know? And I don't think we can completely dismiss the idea that there may be a couple of people out there who are eating gluten-free who don't need to be because it isn't improving their health to do so. I know someone who decided to go gluten-free to see if it cleared her mind, but it didn't, and she quit before long.
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#20 NicoleAJ

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:05 PM

There were definitely some intentionally inflammatory or confrontational statements in this article, which, cumulatively take an adversarial tone towards those who go gluten free for reasons beyond an iron-clad celiac diagnosis. And I could have done without those diagrams since discussion of the Atkins diet does not have a causal effect on the coverage of gluten intolerance in the media, which is a completely different issue altogether. My main problem, though, is that this article gives greater reign to idiot brigade. Have you read some of the comments to the article, bashing everything from celiacs to those who modify their diet under any circumstance?

I posted the following in response to someone who insinuated that all of the detractors of the article were one person who signed on with several screen names, and this one person obviously lacks "fine reading comprehension":

"I actually have a Ph.D. in literature from a top university, so I'd bet that my reading skills are better than most. Though I wouldn't necessarily "rage" against this article, I do find it to be irresponsible. When people play fast-and-loose with the issue of gluten free food and access to gluten free products, it inhibits the rights and the perception of those who suffer from celiac disease. Period.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago after several medical struggles, and over that period I've been fortunate enough to benefit from several new products and places providing gluten free offerings. However, in recent months it seems that there has been an epidemic of uninformed celiac- and gluten-free bashers. Five years ago, when I'd tell someone I had celiac disease, the person would rarely know what I was talking about--he or she would look at me like I had 3 months to live and would not be able to accommodate my needs at a restaurant, for instance. More recently, when I tell someone I have celiac disease, I am increasingly greeted with tirades about "fad diets" and lectures about how many diseases X uneducated person believes are all in people's heads. Whether someone goes gluten free because of a concrete celiac diagnosis, a diagnosis of gluten intolerance (yes, that is a term accepted and described in medical research and literature), or because the person notices positive health benefits, it does not have an impact on the author of this article or on any of the people who have posted on this forum. The decision to go gluten free is generally one made between a patient and his or her doctor, and it's a choice that should not be criticized or discouraged by every uninformed person off the street. Does Daniel Engber have a medical degree I don't know about somewhere?

It is now believed that 1 out of every 100 people suffers from celiac disease, and only a very small percentage of these sufferers has been diagnosed. I say keep the gluten free foods, products, and awareness coming because they are life-changing and life-saving to so many of us. For the gluten free bashers, hopefully it doesn't turn out that you are one of us."
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#21 darlindeb25

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:14 PM

I think the problem is that the article was to underestimate the condition of the Celiac to adopt a gluten-free diet and compare it with a mode of feeding ...


I feel it even more so underestimates the gluten intolerant person. He made it sound like a gluten intolerance is just a little inconvenience for those who are not celiac. Like ravenwoodglass said:

Placebo effect!!!!!!! Yea right Not all restrictive diets help alleviate symptoms that we suffer from gluten or any other food that we are intolerant to. Many of us go through hell eliminating food after food and not having any resolution until the true culprit is found, whether it be gluten, soy, eggs, potatoes, dairy etc. If the placebo effect was going on then eliminating any food would help but it doesn't until we finally find the one that is really causing the issue.


The problem is, when an article like this is written, without real facts, it tends to make others think we are even crazier than they thought before.
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Deb
Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

#22 Lisa

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:44 PM

There were definitely some intentionally inflammatory or confrontational statements in this article, which, cumulatively take an adversarial tone towards those who go gluten free for reasons beyond an iron-clad celiac diagnosis. And I could have done without those diagrams since discussion of the Atkins diet does not have a causal effect on the coverage of gluten intolerance in the media, which is a completely different issue altogether. My main problem, though, is that this article gives greater reign to idiot brigade. Have you read some of the comments to the article, bashing everything from celiacs to those who modify their diet under any circumstance?

I posted the following in response to someone who insinuated that all of the detractors of the article were one person who signed on with several screen names, and this one person obviously lacks "fine reading comprehension":

"I actually have a Ph.D. in literature from a top university, so I'd bet that my reading skills are better than most. Though I wouldn't necessarily "rage" against this article, I do find it to be irresponsible. When people play fast-and-loose with the issue of gluten free food and access to gluten free products, it inhibits the rights and the perception of those who suffer from celiac disease. Period.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago after several medical struggles, and over that period I've been fortunate enough to benefit from several new products and places providing gluten free offerings. However, in recent months it seems that there has been an epidemic of uninformed celiac- and gluten-free bashers. Five years ago, when I'd tell someone I had celiac disease, the person would rarely know what I was talking about--he or she would look at me like I had 3 months to live and would not be able to accommodate my needs at a restaurant, for instance. More recently, when I tell someone I have celiac disease, I am increasingly greeted with tirades about "fad diets" and lectures about how many diseases X uneducated person believes are all in people's heads. Whether someone goes gluten free because of a concrete celiac diagnosis, a diagnosis of gluten intolerance (yes, that is a term accepted and described in medical research and literature), or because the person notices positive health benefits, it does not have an impact on the author of this article or on any of the people who have posted on this forum. The decision to go gluten free is generally one made between a patient and his or her doctor, and it's a choice that should not be criticized or discouraged by every uninformed person off the street. Does Daniel Engber have a medical degree I don't know about somewhere?

It is now believed that 1 out of every 100 people suffers from celiac disease, and only a very small percentage of these sufferers has been diagnosed. I say keep the gluten free foods, products, and awareness coming because they are life-changing and life-saving to so many of us. For the gluten free bashers, hopefully it doesn't turn out that you are one of us."


Bravo to you Nicole! Well done!
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Lisa

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"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

#23 TrillumHunter

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:17 PM

Hmm, I didn't read anything too dismissive to people with celiac. He stated at the end of the article that there are probably lots of undiagnosed people and that many are being diagnosed because of all of the attention lately.

Two things I agree with are that eating foods you usually avoid give you an upset stomach that is NOT necessarily a sign of intolerance/disease and that packaged gluten-free foods are nutritionally lacking for the most part.

Not the worst article I've read and not nearly as bad a someone saying, "I don't eat gluten but I JUST HAD TO HAVE A BITE!" :rolleyes:
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#24 Mother of Jibril

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:19 PM

I actually think this is one good bit of advice...

"The mere fact that someone who cuts out gluten feels better doesn't mean that he has an autoimmune disease or a wheat allergy or some other medical condition."

As long as you keep in mind that you COULD have an autoimmune disorder (or some other medical condition). Making unfounded assumptions can be very bad for your health <_<

The charts were kind of interesting. I tried the Atkins diet back in 2004 and lost 20 pounds. I wish I had realized THEN that I had a problem with gluten! Maybe I wouldn't have so many other medical problems. The gluten-free diet is certainly not a "fad" for me...
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#25 captaincrab55

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:47 PM

Just a newbie here, but IMO when I started reading the article I thought a farmer was writing it.. The author sounded like he wants to put the brakes on gluten-free diets to protect grain sales.. To me the article had more positives then negatives. One doesn't need any negatives at this stage of the fight for celiac disease awareness. With that in mind, I rate the article as 2 thumbs down!...
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#26 Mskedi

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:06 PM

I think I'm really missing something here. How is "bogeyman" insulting? It's saying it's something people are worried about. I don't think he's say AT ALL that some people are making things up and don't feel better when they're off gluten.


I read "bogeyman" as a loaded term, probably because of my associations with it. When I think of the word, I imagine a kid being afraid of something in his closet that isn't actually there. To me, the use of the term implies that the danger of gluten isn't actually there.

Maybe I'm being hypersensitive. :)
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#27 FMcGee

 
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Posted 30 July 2009 - 01:45 AM

I read "bogeyman" as a loaded term, probably because of my associations with it. When I think of the word, I imagine a kid being afraid of something in his closet that isn't actually there. To me, the use of the term implies that the danger of gluten isn't actually there.

Maybe I'm being hypersensitive. :)


I guess I've just always interpreted it as "something people are afraid of or worried about." I think what happened with this author - and this is also true of his title and introduction - is that he was looking for the snappy, catchy phrase, and now that it's all being parsed to death, it doesn't hold up. I publish for a living, too, and that can happen more easily than you'd think. It could even be possible that he wrote it differently and his editor had him brush it up a bit. I honestly think this is kind of a problem for Slate as a whole, that they try to be edgy and push envelopes and whatnot, but don't often end up actually doing that, and instead just offend - or bore, or annoy - a whole heap of people, often their intended audience. The writing itself is good, but what's being said is often fair to middling, given what they seem to want to do. I think this article isn't an attack on gluten avoiders, but a symptom of a larger problem within the publication.
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#28 lobita

 
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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:01 AM

I guess I've just always interpreted it as "something people are afraid of or worried about." I think what happened with this author - and this is also true of his title and introduction - is that he was looking for the snappy, catchy phrase, and now that it's all being parsed to death, it doesn't hold up. I publish for a living, too, and that can happen more easily than you'd think. It could even be possible that he wrote it differently and his editor had him brush it up a bit. I honestly think this is kind of a problem for Slate as a whole, that they try to be edgy and push envelopes and whatnot, but don't often end up actually doing that, and instead just offend - or bore, or annoy - a whole heap of people, often their intended audience. The writing itself is good, but what's being said is often fair to middling, given what they seem to want to do. I think this article isn't an attack on gluten avoiders, but a symptom of a larger problem within the publication.


I agree with that. I've seen the pub problem happen as well (yay fellow editors!).

Also, I think the problem is that the article isn't aimed at those of us on the board. I'm assuming that most of us have gone through horrific medical problems and once we found that going gluten-free changed some if not all of those problems, it became panacea for us. But there are others out there, my bf being one of them, who tries going gluten-free because of small problems. My bf suffers from stomach problems from time to time and is "tired" often. When he went on the diet for a month, he said he felt a little better and more energetic, but couldn't really tell the difference.

Now my story: I was so fatigued in college that I would sleep 10 hours and still cry because I couldn't stay awake during my classes. And everyday felt like I was walking around in a haze, and that went on for years. What I had was definitely fatigue, and anyone who'd have experienced what I did couldn't write, like the Slate author did, that going gluten-free has a placebo effect.

But that's the dramatic difference between someone like myself going on the diet and my bf. Sometimes it's hard to remember that not everyone is as sensitive to gluten as I am.

I do like the part where he writes about how not eating gluten can make it harder for you to digest when you do. I never understood why people became more sensitive to gluten after going off of it, but the lack of enzymes makes sense to me because that's why beans upsets a lot of people...b/c they lack the enzymes to digest it.
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#29 admin

 
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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:09 AM

You might find this response interesting:
http://www.celiac.co...late/Page1.html

Take care,
Scott
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#30 neesee

 
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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:29 AM

It's my understanding that Ron Hoggan's doctorate is in education, not medicine.
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