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One in Five Americans Include Gluten-Free Foods in Diet
Celiac.com 10/07/2015 - The number of Americans who say they include gluten-free foods in their diet has hit a whopping 20%, while 17% say they avoid gluten-free foods altogether. However, nearly 60% of adults say they don't think about gluten-free foods either way.
In the July, as part of its annual Consumption Habits poll, Gallup asked just over a thousand Americans about foods they include or avoid in their diet.
The was the first year the poll included questions about "Gluten-free foods."
Demographic differences in those who seek out gluten-free foods are fairly minor.
One in three non-white Americans say they actively include gluten-free foods, compared with 17% of whites.
Age seems to influence the purchase of gluten-free foods, with
25% of adults under 50 buying gluten-free, compared with 17% of those aged 50 and older.
Men and women bought gluten-free food at about the same rates.
Interestingly, more educated and wealthier Americans tend to be less likely to include gluten free-foods in their diet than Americans with no college experience and lower-income Americans, respectively, though the differences were fairly small.
The report's overall bottom line is that the gluten-free food market has grown substantially in the past five years, as has the introduction of more foods that do not contain gluten.
With one in five Americans now seeking to include these products in their diet, the prevalence goes well beyond the roughly 1% of Americans with celiac disease, who have a serious medical reason to avoid gluten.
Many Americans say they eat gluten-free foods as part of an attempt to lose weight, a version of a no-carb diet, while others claim it improves their well-being.
Though it's unclear how healthy a gluten-free diet is for people who do not have celiac disease, the percentage of Americans who say they are attempting to include gluten-free food in their diet shows how widespread the practice is.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
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