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Has Disney Gone Too Far?

Celiac.com 05/29/2013 - Television's the Disney Channel has always been known to be kid friendly and parents approved, but a recent airing has parents viewing this network in a new light.

Photo: CC--CesarKensen"Jessie," a fairly new sitcom, premiered on September 30, 2011. It follows the life of an eighteen year old who nannies for a high profile family of four children. Seemingly harmless, right? In a recent episode titled “Quitting Cold Koala,” Stuart, a gluten-free child, is victimized. Several jokes were made in reference to the character's diet such as, "You call me sweetie again, and you'll be eating some gluten-free knuckles." In another part of the episode another child throws pancakes at Stuart as he screams "gluten!" and wipes his face.

Those who are diagnosed with celiac disease must live a completely gluten-free life. Gluten is a very common protein which is found in foods made with wheat, rye, and barely. When ingested their immune system literally starts destroying them from the inside out.

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Amy Raslevich, was outraged by the episode in question when she watched it with her two gluten-free children. She was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette saying, "There were tears in my daughter's eyes, and my son's fist was clenched.” She started her own petition on Change.org asking the Disney Channel to no longer air this episode.

Disney has made the decision to pull this episode for now, and is currently re-evaluating whether it will be shown again.

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16 Responses:

 
Sue
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said this on
29 May 2013 12:25:24 PM PDT
I've noticed this kind of insensitivity on other TV programs. I think all the talk about gluten avoidance as a fad gives some people the idea that everyone has a choice like, becoming vegan or vegetarian. I like the comment about gluten killing us from the inside out. That pretty much sums it up.

 
Lsai
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said this on
30 May 2013 5:14:46 AM PDT
Sadly, the Disney Channel is right, these things do happen at school all the time. Even worse, it happens to adults in the work place as well. I've even had a boss contaminate my food, just to see if I was lying and what would happen (I got sick in his office, knowing he had done it).

 
Susie
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 4:00:59 AM PDT
I think this is something that needs to be addressed. I too have experienced harassment/bullying/hostile work environment (whatever you want to call it) because of my diet restrictions. It went so far as to have cake smashed on my car. I had to have my locker in a separate area because someone was putting crackers in my bag. (lockers are shared so not always locked). I would come back from lunch to find crumbs scattered on my desk. Worst thing about this---I work at a hospital!!!

 
MJH

said this on
25 Jun 2014 7:40:40 AM PDT
Couldn't that be considered an illegal assault, if not attempted murder?

 
Susan J
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 3:48:48 AM PDT
Ok, I've discussed this with my 14 year old daughter because she is the one with celiac and she is the one that deals with this on a daily basis - not me. Teens and kids are mean. When adults and parents are not around to protect them in the lunch room and around their friends, kids are just downright mean to each other. We grew up with it and now, our kids deal with it. On a daily basis, my daughter is offered sandwiches, cookies, donuts and various other things as jokes. She has toughened up and handled it. Not because I taught her that - because she learned how to handle the environment. Disney threw a character out there that was overly-Geeky, out there for other kids to make fun of at the meal table and he was obnoxious. Throwing food is unacceptable behavior and that should be addressed. But, kids tease. My daughter actually thought this was funny and because the kids was never taught how to deal a little teasing, but she's the one with celiac. Bullying is wrong all around, but when it comes right down to it, I want a kid that can stand up for herself and say - No, I can't have that it has wheat it in. No, you can't do that do me. No you are treating me wrong. Instead, this kid was portrayed like a whiny baby - thus the food being throw at him... but, that really is the point of this entire show, isn't it? Maybe Disney shouldn't select a such sensitive topic for such a whiny show. I'm so proud of my daughter! She is a able to laugh and enjoy life and know what to eat and what not to eat. But, she also knows how to stand up for herself at 14!

 
Christa

said this on
03 Jun 2013 4:13:12 AM PDT
I worked at a hospital where the HEAD of the dietary department threatened to put flour in my mailbox because he was tired of me asking if something was gluten-free. A co-worker in my small office at the hospital ate 1 1/2 pounds of pretzels a day in front of the fan that was blowing my direction just to antagonize me and make me sick. I couldn't get anyone at the medical center to get it to stop, so I quit the job. That was at a HOSPITAL and people wonder why I don't want to ever be hospitalized? That was 7 years ago, but I wonder if things have changed much since then.

 
Mar
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 7:36:23 AM PDT
Yep, Disney went too far -- very insensitive and done selfishly in the name of entertainment. I've witnessed my nieces and nephews learning from books and cartoons that something is fodder for teasing, when they never had the idea in their head before that. Although the stories usually come around to trying to point out that teasing is bad, once the seed has been planted, kids often experiment with playing the role of the "teaser" until a caring adult in their lives steers them clear of such mean behavior. So thanks a lot Disney for planting the seed in many children's minds that gluten-intolerance (or any food allergy) is to be made fun of and that kids with food allergies should be bullied.

 
Julie
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 9:43:35 AM PDT
The show Parenthood also makes disparaging remarks about gluten-free kids in at least two episodes. I think it must be the misinformed thinking that it's a choice diet vs. a serious illness.

 
Zloduska
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 2:22:01 PM PDT
Lesi, I sincerely hope you put rat poison in your boss's food in retaliation, because that is what the bastard deserves.

 
Sean
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 4:52:07 PM PDT
It's good that this was out there. Get a grip and realize this is real-life. The more we have this, the better we can deal with it.

 
Nancy Elle

said this on
03 Jun 2013 5:55:53 PM PDT
I have arcolepsy and dermatitis herpetiformis. The DH is cured by being fanatically gluten-free. There is no cure for narcolepsy, although being gluten-free helps with my neurological symptoms. It is another disease that is misunderstood and made fun of. It is also auto-immune like DH and celiac disease.

 
Bar
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 7:01:22 PM PDT
If it were a peanut or nut allergy in question and the nemesis had thrown a handful of nuts at the kids, would Disney have ever aired it? I doubt it!!!

 
David Lapham
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said this on
03 Jun 2013 8:02:23 PM PDT
It is hard enough being a young person, add in celiac disease and it is worse. We all need to be encouraged to see the good side of the disease--better health, freedom from many of the problems of that have beset us from early life on, and the great gluten-free foods that are out there if one looks for them.

 
Jerri
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said this on
04 Jun 2013 8:47:03 AM PDT
I think we need to step back and look at what Disney could do with this subject. Because gluten-free has become a "fad," it is remaining difficult for the public to understand and support celiac disease. Even certain celiac publications are lumping allergies such as lactose and whatever with celiac disease--again perpetuating the idea that eating gluten-free for celiacs is just an allergy and NOT an autoimmune disease such as diabetes.

Also...the medical world itself does not recognize the needs of a celiac... I was in the hospital for a month having had a perforated colon and the hospital did not even have gluten-free offerings...

As a community, we need to stop being everything to all people and fully concentrate on celiac disease and the need for gluten-free... don't lump us in with allergies... keep us separated and above the conversation about allergies... and keep the information coming about the seriousness of undiagnosed or eating gluten for celiacs.

 
Sherry

said this on
17 Jun 2013 11:22:03 AM PDT
I am not so Disney side of the house. My son is gluten-free and watches it with no complaints. He also needs to know how to handle these situations and it may make others aware that he cannot even be touched by certain things. Spray on sunblock is my big complaint. People don't look around before they spray and my son's skin breaks out if it is the wrong brand.

In regards to hospital food, you are absolutely right! I take my son to Children's Mercy in Kansas City and they don't have any type of label for gluten-free. A lot of kids eat there with celiac disease, so that is disappointing to me. On a good note, Fort Riley was able to tell my son exactly what he could eat off of their line.

 
Crystal
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said this on
05 Jun 2013 9:05:14 AM PDT
Disney went too far. I just want to know if Disney would've thrown peanuts at the child actor knowing he has a (pretend) peanut allergy? Peanuts can be life threatening, but you hear about that more than other allergies. A lot of confusion occurs - it really depends on the person. Like me, I'll be gluten-free 3 years, with minor slip ups, after celiac disease made me sick for over two years and then I had a month long migraine headache and ended up in the emergency room until I stopped eating gluten. But I know two people that almost died from ingesting celiac, and internally losing blood. It really can kill you, but it depends upon the person, it's that individualized.




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That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.

I prefer edible candy. I have glaucoma and celiac so it helps me on a daily basis for all of my medical problems. I wish I could find a strain that has laxative effects so I didn't need linsess. Leafly.com has a lot of strain information and cannabist is a good resource, too. You can use CBD or THC and not get 'stoned'. I function fine on 20 mg of the candy. I refuse to drive if I smoke though. Good luck, hope it helps.

Is it NCGS or Low stomach acid misdiagnosed Low Stomach Acid and Celiac Disease Dear Gluten Intolerant please consider Low Stomach Acid as a possible Differential Diagnosis as a possible way to achieve remission of your GI symptom's. ?Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things? 2 Timothy 2: 7 Low stomach acid has now been linked to a probable cause of damage to the Small Intestine before and/or occurring with a Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) or Celiac diagnosis. See this research as reported on celiac.com that discusses the increased risk of/for someone to develop celiac disease after taking PPI?s. http://www.celiac.com/articles/23432/1/Do-Proton-Pump-Inhibitors-Increase-Risk-of-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html Note how the article starts quoting ?Rates of celiac disease and the use of drugs to inhibit the secretion of stomach acid have both increased in recent decades. A research team recently set out to explore the association between anti-secretory medication exposure and subsequent development of celiac disease.? If these medicine are lowering stomach acid what cause effect relationship does/ could this have on Celaic/NCGS diagnosis is what he is postulating. He goes on to say without being very technical (read the whole article for yourself) that ?The data clearly show that patients who use anti-secretory medications are at much greater risk for developing celiac disease following the use of these medicines. The fact that this connection persisted even after the team excluded prescriptions for anti-secretory medicines in the year preceding the celiac disease diagnosis suggests a causal relationship?. If even after a year OFF these medicines your chances of developing Celiac Disease (celiac disease) not to mention even NCGS which is much more prominent surely the researcher is correct in postulating that there is a cause and effect relationship between low stomach acid and NCGS and/or Celiac disease. Surely there is something we can learn here. I now postulate some homework for the reader of this blog post. Do some research for yourself and see if achlorhydia or hypochlorhydia symptoms don?t at least resemble in some manner all of the GI symptoms you have been having. (I note some of the many symptom?s low stomach acid can present with below as referenced from Dr. Myatt?s online article ?What?s Burning You? for easy reference (It might not be what you think (my words)) It is important to note here that ?some? symptoms does not mean all but many or several. It is called a differential diagnosis. It is an important diagnostic tool in medicine. Think of the tv show ?House? where they spend the whole hour/over a week times going through the ?differential diagnosis? in short any one symptom can/have many different causes. The trick is how to quickly eliminate possible outcomes as symptoms (many) go up. All is usually never meet because that would make the disease in full outbreak and obvious even to the layman a condition described as ?frank? or ?classic? Scurvy or Rickets as an example. Sadly too often after 8 to 10+ years of testing after all the differential diagnosis?s are ruled out you are said by process of elimination to have Celiac Disease if you are lucky or maybe NCGS and not some other acronym GI disease as I like to refer to them as a group. GERD,IBS,UC, Chrons etc because if they turned down that street ? . you are/could be in/at a dead end for they stop looking at the trigger (gluten) as the cause of your gastric upset/digestive disorder(s). So in summary if 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 of these symptoms overlap ?many of? these symptoms could be Low Stomach Acid related. IF that is the cause/case for you then there is hope! For remission! From Dr. Myatts? Online article what?s burning you? From Dr. Myatts? Online article what?s burning you? http://healthbeatnews.com/whats-burning-you/ Diseases Associated with Low Gastric Function Low stomach acid is associated with the following conditions: * Acne rosacea * Addison?s disease * Allergic reactions * Candidiasis (chronic) * Cardiac arrhythmias * Celiac disease * Childhood asthma * Chronic autoimmune hepatitis * Chronic cough * Dermatitis herpeteformis * Diabetes (type I) * Eczema * Gallbladder disease * GERD * Graves disease (hyperthyroid) * Iron deficiency anemia * Laryngitis (chronic) * Lupus erythromatosis * Macular degeneration * Multiple sclerosis * Muscle Cramps * Myasthenia gravis * Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) * Osteoporosis * Pernicious anemia * Polymyalgia rheumatica * Reynaud?s syndrome * Rheumatoid arthritis * Scleroderma * Sjogren?s syndrome * Stomach cancer * Ulcerative colitis * Vitiligo When low in stomach acid we become low in essential nutrients Quoting from Dr. Myatts ?what?s burning you? online article ?Our bodies need 60 or so essential nutrients. ?Essential? means that the body MUST have this nutrient or death will eventually ensue, and the nutrient must be obtained from diet because the body cannot manufacture it. Many of these essential nutrients require stomach acid for their assimilation. When stomach acid production declines, nutrient deficiencies begin. Calcium, for example, requires vigorous stomach acid in order to be assimilated. Interestingly, the rate of hip replacement surgery is much higher in people who routinely use antacids and acid-blocking drugs. We know that people who have ?acid stomach? were already having trouble assimilating calcium from food and nutritional supplements due to lack of normal stomach acid production. When these symptoms are ?band-aided? with drugs which decrease stomach acid even more, calcium assimilation can come to a near-halt. The result? Weak bones, hip fractures and joint complaints resulting in major surgery. Jonathan Wright, M.D., well-known and respected holistic physician, states that ?Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, its been my linical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other micro-trace elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as they are in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.? Remember, these are essential nutrients. Deficiencies of any single one of them can cause serious health problems over time. Weak bones, diminish immune function, failing memory, loss of eyesight and many other ?diseases of aging? are often the result of decreased stomach function.? It is me again reader. So low stomach acid is the triggering agent (often) for low nutrients. Make too much sense! Now don?t take Vitamin?s for this condition where low Vitamins/Minerals are known to be low in patients who have this condition because . . . . (if you do you won?t need to keep coming back to the doctor) I can almost hear the doctor say now. Of course he/she doesn?t say that . . . just that the ?average person? doesn?t need to take Vitamins. Well I hate to break it too you . . . . but if you are having GI problems and reading this blog post on celac.com then you are not the ?average? person. You my friend or a sufferer or a friend of a sufferer still looking for answers. If that is you then consider taking either powdered stomach acid ? Betaine HCL or taking Niacinamide to help you reset your stress clock. A Canadian researcher wrote about this connection 15+ years ago but still most doctors? don?t understand this connection between about how ?Niacin treats digestive Problems? Here is the full link so you can research it more yourself. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2001/articles/2001-v16n04-p225.shtml And you might not after a first reading. I didn?t believe it myself for over a year . . . but every time I thought about it ? it (Low Stomach Acid) made/makes the most sense to me. **** Note: research this yourself. Here is a link about how to take Betaine HCL (powdered stomach) for maximum effectiveness. http://20somethingallergies.com/how-much-hcl-do-i-take-learn-to-test-for-your-correct-dose/ Don?t take my blog post as medical advice. It is only what I did . . . it might not work for you but I think it is worth a try especially if you are not now taking an acid reducer. (see notes below about why this might) be more difficult if you are already taking an acid reducer . . . because the rebound wall (see chris kresser link) keeps us locked in . . . sometimes for years. Since I was not taking acid reducers at the time I took Betaine HCL my stomach problems improved and I am sharing this now in the hopes it might help yours too! Now back to (really) LOW stomach acid being diagnosed as HIGH stomach acid these days. How can we know if it truly high or low? You?ve heard the phrase timing is everything well it is here too! Timeline is important in any diagnosis. IF your stomach acid was HIGH as you often hear (everywhere) you hear take a Proton Pump Inhibitor aka acid reducer?s for heartburn/GERD (medical name for heartburn) then eating food (carbs, greasy things) wouldn?t bother you. The acid would cut it up but if it is already low/weak then even a little acid can burn your esophagus which is not coated like the stomach to protect you from high acid. BUT if it is low to start with then food will WEAKEN our/your acid so that you lose the food fight your in and things (carbs/fats) become to ferment, rancidify and cause heart burn. Leading in time to Non-Celiac disease first and with enough injury (and time) to Marsh lesions qualifying you for diagnosis as a Celiac candidate / patient. See above link between/about PPI?s in the year preceding a Celiac diagnosis. If you (can) be that patient and weight the xx number of years for all this damage to occur, there is a better way it is called digestion! A virtuous cycle can replace the vicious cycle you are now in ? it is caused digestion. Digest your food with healthy stomach acid and your body will thank you for it with the God given burp. A healthy child burps (at 6 months of age normally) and a healthy adult should too and you will again after taken Niacinamide 3/day for 6 months or this is not the right diagnosis. *********Note this is not medical advice only my experience with Niacinamide and my many years researching this topic as a fellow sufferer. Let me make these disclaimer(s). If you are a) experiencing heartburn that causing vomiting (with unintended weight loss) you may have a special case of heartburn that feels like heartburn (on steroids) that is really Bile Reflux and taking Stomach is not something you should do without medical advice and supervision. See this NYtimes article that discusses the many complications often seen with Bile Reflux patients and why it is treated as Heartburn often and why Bile Reflux is especially hard to recover from. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/health/30brod.html you are already taking an acid reducer then the chance you will get better (off of acid reducers completely) is only 50/50 on your first try but going low CARB can help your transition. Otherwise most people will get better when taking BetaineHCL for gastric support and Niacinamide to help them/you reset your digestive processes. See this online article about how Jo Lynne Shane got off Nexium for good. http://www.jolynneshane.com/how-i-got-off-nexium-for-good.html and her Epilogue http://www.jolynneshane.com/epilogue.html You will see she still struggles some but is much better when she let her natural digestive juices do their job. I call it the ?Natural Order of Things?. See this article about the digestion process being a North South Affair from the bodywisdom website http://bodywisdomnutrition.com/digestion-a-north-to-south-process/ Taking it (Niacinamide) (or any B-Vitamin) should be taken 2 to 3/day (too keep up serum levels) for 3 to 4 months (the time you can store B-Vitamins) in the liver mostly. Once you have a distinctive BURP that displaces the bloating and sense of ?I am going to explode? if I eat another bite (though you haven?t eaten half your meal) then normal digestion is occurring again. If you stool did not sink before this process (of taking Niacinamide begun) and burping became your ?new normal? then it (your stool) will begin to sink too! Burping without bloating is the ?Natural Order? of good digestion. Don?t stop this process of taking B-Vitamins as Niacimaide or Slo-Niacin 2/day for at least 4 months then you should see most of your GI symptom?s go into remission. (I did not say "cure" but remission from your cross contamination's (flares/symptom's etc.) might be possible. Because our defenses are now strong enough to cut up proteins before they reach our small intestine (where most of the damage is done). Think of a castle with a moat around it (stomach acid is designed to protect us) when it is low (the moat doesn?t protect us) and when the moat is dry the castle becomes a ruin!!! So do proteins (lactose (casein), gluten, soy, seafood etc.) to our small intestines (they become ruined) when our stomach acid (moat) is low or worse dry! I repeat again Timeline is important in any diagnosis. All heartburn is not equal. IF your stomach acid is truly high then it WILL occur between meals when there is no food to tamp down the fire (occurring in your stomach) not your esophagus. The excess pressure from fermented carbs push open the trap door allowing the low acid you have to burn the lining of your uncoated esophagus. See also this online article by Chris Kresser to study this more about why/how this could be a case of medical misdiagnosis in more detail https://chriskresser.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-but-doesnt-about-heartburn-gerd/ This is part of a 3 part series that I think you will find very informative. This (low stomach acid) is a vicious cycle. STRONG stomach acid makes it a virtuous circle/cycle. Now food benefits you because low acid not only causes heartburn it limits your body?s absorptive ability by limiting its ability to cut up your food into digestible peptides and amino acids which are no longer harmful to your Small Intestine but helpful to your overall health because nutrients can now be absorbed because the food particles are now small enough to not cause harm to your villi. I hope this is helpful and it helps you the way it helped me. Maybe it will help you in a similar manner. I write this only as a guidepost on your way. May you find your way back to digestive peace! The ?Natural Order? of things! Praise bee to God! It is not a long way if you know the way . . . . from someone who has found his way back God being his help! There are more things I could say . . . but this post is getting kind of long but you get the gest. I noticed someone else on the celiac.com noticed the same improvement when they treated their low stomach acid and thought it was time a blog post talked about it. It is so much easier to consume all this information in one setting instead of hunting and peeking through several thread posts. Search for the posterboy on celiac.com and you will find it is my focus (how low stomach acid is misdiagnosed) and how Niacinamide helped me to restore its ?Natural Order? in the digestive process because it helped me! Here is the link to the Prousky?s abstract. 15+ years is a long time for people to continue to suffer but if the research it right then Niacinamide might help you too! http://www.yourhealthbase.com/database/niacin-treats-digestive-problems.htm Let?s hope it is not another 15 years before doctor?s and people realize low stomach acid can explain many of the same symptom?s an IBS, NCGS or even a Celiac patient might experience given a long enough time for these conditions to develop from too low a stomach acid to protect our Small Intestine. See link at start of this blog post posted here again for convenience. http://www.celiac.com/articles/23432/1/Do-Proton-Pump-Inhibitors-Increase-Risk-of-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html And it is worth noting about the time Celiac disease started (began to be more prevalent) / to increase in the population Acid reducer?s became more and more popular. *** Some plot the increase in time to Roundup usage but I am not buying it. PPI?s increase seam more plausible to me based on the relatively new research (less than 5 years old) is pretty current by research standards and the near linear response to increased first H2 stomach acid reducer?s then PPI?s in the population at large. *****Note: after I finished writing this blog post new research that in my mind confirms this connection was reported on celiac.com today that notes the link between gastric pH and impaired nutrient absorption. This very topic as I was getting ready to publish my post about low stomach acid possibly being diagnosed as Celiac disease on my posterboy blog mentions how a Celiac patient?s absorption can be impaired by gastric pH. https://www.celiac.com/articles/24738/1/Can-Celiac-Disease-Impair-Drug-Therapy-in-Patients/Page1.html Where they (researchers) say/ask discussing Celiac Disease and whether it (celiac disease) can impair drug therapy in patients. Note the opening paragraph discussing this topic quoting ?Celiac disease is associated with numerous chronic conditions, such as anemia and malabsorption of some critical vitamins. Changes in the gastrointestinal tract, rates of gastric emptying, and gastric pH are responsible for impaired vitamin and mineral absorption." i.e., low gastric pH can effect absorption. It stands to make reasonable sense to me they are related conditions and one is being diagnosed for the other often or at least one is being confused as the other and treating one (raising your stomach pH) might treat the other since many of the symptoms? are the same. *** this/these opinion(s) are my own and do not reflect an endorsement by celiac.com of these ideas, comments, thoughts or opinions. I hope this helps! You the way it did me! Good luck on your continued journey, Remember **** This is not medical advice and should not be considered such. Results may vary. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your regimen. 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Posterboy by the Grace of God,