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  • Sarah  Curcio
    Sarah  Curcio

    The Grinch and Gluten Just Don’t Mix

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Let’s show Hollywood that mocking people with food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities is not, in any way, acceptable behavior.


    Caption: Image: CC-Michael Neel

    Celiac.com 01/25/2019 - Last year was a very bad year for food allergy bullying. It started off with the Party City commercial calling Celiacs gross, then the Peter Rabbit movie mocking anaphylaxis shock, and of course, the Grinch billboards.   

    The national campaign for the Grinch movie included billboards, subway platforms, on buildings and buses. They all have the Grinch saying some type of negative quote or notion. However, there was one billboard in particular that crossed a line.  

    The billboard had a quote from the character that received a lot of negative attention due to the undesirable concept that it enforced. It read: "I put gluten in your smoothies." This was supposedly to poke fun at those who avoid gluten because of the fad diet, rather than as an actual medical necessity. However, that is not how it was perceived by the celiac community. 

    With all this negative media towards those with real health issues and food allergies, the unfortunate result was bullying that led to a death. If you have not heard the story yet, there was a thirteen-year-old boy that died because of his schoolmates. They thought taunting him with dairy, which he was allergic to, would be absolutely hilarious. This is the exact same message the billboard portrayed to the public. 

    We need to stop and really think before we laugh at the media’s supposed humor. A lot of individuals have already seen this movie in the cinemas, but let’s think twice before we purchase the DVDs. Let’s show Hollywood that mocking people with food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities is not, in any way, acceptable behavior.   


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    "Gluten Free" makes for a cheap laugh line, but I wish Celiac Disease was a joke in my life. 

    It would be nice if some of these big Celiac Disease organizations and medical groups put out public commercials, promoting more awareness.

    Maybe something like this; "Celiac Disease is not a joke, 1 in 130 people suffer from the disease, and most do not know they have it.  If your or a loved one has any of the following symptoms (insert all symptoms here) contact your family doctor to arrange testing.  Help and support is out there, and you don't have to suffer alone with this disease.  Paid for by the following organizations (insert medical and Celiac Disease organizations here)." 

    Everyday we have to here commercials about ED, Shingles, heat issues, toe fungus and many others followed by if you're experiencing any of these symptoms please contact your medical provider to get this medication.  The problem with Celiac, there's no drug company pushing their pills, hence no money to be made.  Sad that everything has to be driven by money when it comes to everyone's health. 

    This is a great article, and it does bring awareness, unfortunately it brings to to an already captive audience that suffers with Celiac Disease, that knows too much about this. 

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  • About Me

    Sarah Curcio is a health advocate, blogger and has a background in medical office assisting. She worked at Nutrition Treatment Center, as a Lifestyle Educator. She's also the founder and organizer, since February 2011, of Celiac and Allergy Support (www.meetup.com/allergy), which is a mutual social and self-help support group located in New Jersey.

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