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  • Jefferson Adams

    No, Gluten-Free Eating is Not Just a Liberal Thing

    Jefferson Adams

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Turns out, Trump voters are more likely to identify as gluten-free than coastal liberals. What does that even mean?

    Caption: Hipster Popeye's hand tattoo. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--MattHurst

    Celiac.com 12/17/2019 - People with celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet to maintain good health, but many other folks also follow a gluten-free diet for non-medical reasons.

    Whatever the reason, from restaurateurs poking fun, to friends and relatives making silly quips, gluten-free dieters are no strangers to incorrect, silly, or stereotyped views of their diet.

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    Turns out that the stereotype of gluten-free dieters as coastal left-wing elites is a bit off the mark. In fact, it turns out that Trump supporters are more likely to be gluten-free than any of those tree-hugging hipsters.

    How do we know this? Researchers Trey Malone, assistant professor in the department of agricultural, food and resource economics at Michigan State University, and Bailey Norwood of Oklahoma State University set out to examine the relationship between political affiliation and dietary habits using gluten as a model. 

    Their findings suggest that not only does gluten sensitivity impact “people of all political persuasions,” but that the cliché of the politically correct, gluten-intolerant, “West Coast liberal” has no merit.

    Their article in the journal Agriculture and Human Values reveals that gluten-sensitivity is not just a liberal thing, as some would have us believe, if only in jest. 

    Turns out that the search for good gluten-free bread, pizza, cookies and sandwich bread has numerous adherents divided in both political camps. 

    However, when their team broke down the results according to presidential political choice over the last few decades, Trump supporters were "the most likely to identify as gluten avoidant,” according to Malone.

    Read more about Malone and Norwood's study of how the political views of 1,000 American consumers are reflected in food choices in the Agriculture and Human Values.

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    Seriously, the individuals that deal with celiac and having to live on a gluten-free diet to maintain their health deserve better than stereotyping.  I live in the smack middle of a south central state and it is near impossible to find gluten-free choices outside of  my own kitchen.  Not to mention attempting to find gluten-free items to stock my pantry.  It may be a fad choice for a political affiliation, but let's not forget it is a real choice for everyone with celiac.  Oh, and indifferent and intolerant folks like Joy Behar are cordially invited to take a long walk off a short pier.  Js.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF 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.

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