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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Just How Expensive is a Gluten-free Diet?

    Celiac.com 05/26/2016 - An Australian dietary organization has published a study showing the high and hidden costs of a gluten-free diet, and is calling for a subsidy program to help offset those extra costs.

    A newly published study quantifying the cost of gluten-free foods shows a family with two children can pay nearly 20% more for gluten-free food. The costs are even greater for single men on welfare.

    The study is the first of its kind to prove "that a gluten-free diet is a significant financial burden for many Australian family types," say University of Wollongong researchers Kelly Lambert and Caitlin Ficken, the study's authors.

    The study was supported by the Dieticians Association (DAA) of Australia, and the results appear in its scientific journal Nutrition and Dietetics. For their study, Lambert and Ficken compared gluten-free diet groceries with a standard non-gluten-free shopping basket using data from supermarkets in five varying suburbs in the Illawarra region south of Sydney.

    They found that flour actually showed the highest cost differential, with gluten-free flour costing 570 per cent more than plain flour, "so even making things from scratch is exorbitantly more expensive," said Ms Lambert, who is also a dietician at Wollongong Hospital.

    The study showed that wholemeal gluten-free bread was nearly five times more expensive than comparable non-gluten-free bread.

    In the face of these results, the DAA is calling for gluten-free diets to be subsidized for those with medical need.

    What do you think? Is a gluten-free diet for people in medical need something that deserves to be subsidized?

    Read the more at: Dietitians Association of Australia

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    Absolutely it should be subsidized! There are many of us who struggle just paying everyday bills that continue to rise while paychecks continue to shrink!

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    Guest Deborah Fletcher

    Posted

    I hope the US adapts to this as well and subsidizes the cost of gluten-free foods here for those who medically need it as well. It is very expensive for those on a limited monthly budget who have celiac or are gluten sensitive to afford to eat. This would help tremendously!

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    How would an aged pensioner convince the Australian government that he needs extra money for gluten free products they would think he was crazy.

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    Guest Graham Ansell

    Posted

    Fruit, Vegetables, plain rice, meat, fish, eggs, dairy (if you can tolerate) it is all gluten free, it's the processed Gluten free man made rubbish that people don't need to eat that's expensive. Stay away from it!

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    A gluten-free convenience food diet should not be subsidized as this food is just not healthy, too many additives and sugar, and anyway most of it doesn't taste very good either. By subsidizing just bread and baking ingredients, including a variety of gluten-free flours, celiac sufferers could then afford to make their own food, much healthier and tastier. Manufacturers should be subsidized to get their food gluten-free classified and not be allowed to charge more just for a label. In Europe the allergens in food must be stated so reading labels is less of a risk.

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    As a person with celiac disease, I strongly believe that gluten free food should be subsidized worldwide. I don't buy a lot of gluten-free items because they cost way too much. So my diet is not as good as it should be. You end up depriving yourself of a lot of foods because you can't afford them.

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    I hope the US adapts to this as well and subsidizes the cost of gluten-free foods here for those who medically need it as well. It is very expensive for those on a limited monthly budget who have celiac or are gluten sensitive to afford to eat. This would help tremendously!

    So true.

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    Yes! I am the only one in my household who has to eat gluten-free and I spend an extra $800-$1000 a year. This doesn't include the extra fees passed on at restaurants. If it is necessary medically it should be subsidized.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    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.
    As 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."
    Source:
    Sacramento Bee

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/20/2014 - There's a new study confirming the high price of gluten-free foods that is making waves beyond the shores of the UK, where it was conducted.
    The study, by the food info app canieatit.co.uk, found that about 12 million consumers in Britain bought gluten-free products in the past year, a rise of 120 per cent in just five years.
    The study also found that people who cut gluten from their diet pay double or triple for gluten-free versions of ordinary food.
    Source:
    Times

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/22/2016 - Are supermarkets charging extreme prices for certified gluten-free foods, which are basically the same as their non-certified counterparts?
    A Channel 4 exposé of stores in the United Kingdom shows that shoppers are paying huge mark-ups for store brand gluten-free products, while similar unlabeled foods are much cheaper in other parts of the store. The Channel 4 probe found huge price differences between certified gluten-free sauces, soups and crackers and regular equivalents that do not naturally have any wheat or gluten ingredients.
    The greatest price discrepancy seem to be for products bearing the supermarkets' private "Free From" labels. For example, Channel 4 found that Tesco charges 64% more for its Free From gluten-free plain wholegrain rice cakes than it charges for lightly salted ones, also without gluten. Tesco's 460g Free From ketchup costs nearly double its regular ketchup, which also contains no gluten ingredients.
    Meanwhile at rival Sainsbury's, a 300g Free From juicy tomato and basil soup sells for 3 times the price of a 400g regular tomato and basil soup with no gluten ingredients. Lastly, Sainsbury's 300g Free From massala sauce was priced at nearly 65% more than a 500g jar of regular massala sauce, which also has no gluten.
    Of course, the trick here is that we are comparing certified gluten-free store brands with similar products with no gluten ingredients. For many people, certified gluten-free products provide a degree of safety that they are willing to pay a premium price for.
    However, in many cases, a journey away from the gluten-free aisle and some quick ingredient checking might get you a product that is as gluten-free as the certified products, and works every bit as well.
    As always, consumers should be aware, read labels, and make choices that work for them.
    Source:
    thesun.co.uk

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/23/2016 - Can a gluten-free diet help athletes who do not have celiac disease or gluten-intolerance to improve their performance in competition? Yes, says Luke Corey, a dietitian for Exos, which creates sports performance and nutrition training programs at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.
    These benefits are real, Corey says, even though there is no published research indicating a gluten-free diet benefits the general population, athletes who avoid gluten enjoy an overall healthier diet. Corey adds that a gluten-free diet benefits an athlete's health and fitness even if he or she did not have a problem with gluten.
    "The main thing is the change in the overall diet," said Corey, who has worked with a wide variety of amateur and pro athletes, including players from the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball.
    In most cases, the benefits come not so much by removing wheat, but by removing “…unhealthy, highly processed foods that are not very nutritious and replacing them with foods that are better quality and more nutritious.
    Corey says that the athletes he treats who eliminate gluten generally avoid highly processed bread, pasta, cookies, desserts and snacks that contain wheat.
    Major professional athletes who claim to have benefitted from a gluten-free diet, even though they do not have celiac disease, include: Tennis champion Novak Djokovic; New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira; Christie Rampone of the United States women's national soccer team; and Justin Pugh, New York Giants offensive tackle.
    What do you think? Are athletes who follow a gluten-free diet for non-medical reasons seeing benefits largely from eating healthier, less-processed foods? Is that a bad thing?
    Souce:
    thepostgame.com

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