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Found 5 results

  1. Celiac.com 10/30/2018 - Products with “gluten-free” were unknown just 20 years ago. Now, driven by new labeling standards and demand that far exceeds those on medical diets, the market for gluten-free foods is expected to hit $2.34 billion in sales by 2019. That’s more than double the 2014 level. How has the influx of new gluten-free products in the last few years changed the experience of people with celiac disease? A team of researchers recently set out to investigate how the recent proliferation of the gluten‐free industry has affected individuals living with celiac disease, with a primary focus on their social lives and relationships. The research team included J. A. King, G. G. Kaplan, and J. Godley. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The team employed interpretive phenomenology for study design and analysis. Team members held semi‐structured interviews with 17 adults with clinically diagnosed celiac disease in Calgary, Alberta. They recorded the interviews and transcribed them for analysis. These 17 Canadians living with celiac disease reported that they perceive the growth of the gluten‐free industry as a "double‐edged sword." Although they are grateful for more readily available, more palatable gluten‐free options, they are increasingly faced with misunderstandings about the severity of celiac disease as a perceived result of many non-celiac disease individuals subscribing to the gluten‐free diet. Participants also felt they may be perceived or even perceived themselves differently, such as "high maintenance," etc. To help mitigate these social ramifications of following the gluten‐free diet, participants utilized various strategies. According to the study’s authors, simply telling celiac patients to adopt a gluten‐free diet ignores the regular challenges faced by those patients. The authors of the report are calling for doctors to consider the indirect burdens for celiac patients who must adopt a gluten-free diet when making their recommendations. But how? The report says nothing about what exactly doctors are supposed consider, or what they should tell patients about the challenges of a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease probably do need more information up front as they begin to follow a gluten-free diet, but clearly far more input and study are needed. This study tells us that seventeen people in Alberta, Canada say that being gluten-free by medical necessity is both easier and more challenging than it was in the past. That it was both more manageable, but also more stressful, because gluten-free fad dieters are confusing everything. What are we to make of this? Talking informally with 17 celiac patients and writing up the results may not rise to the level of a solid study, and their input doesn’t really tell us much about how to improve their situation. Also, blaming the popularity of the gluten-free diet as a cause of confusion or stress in people with celiac disease could be an overreaction. Remember, ten or twenty years ago when most people had nearly zero awareness of celiac disease or the gluten-free diet? That included doctors who were trying to diagnose it. To have these inconvenient misunderstandings, people must first have some idea that celiac disease exists, and that a gluten-free diet is part of it. Is it possible that, as annoying as such misunderstandings may be, they represent progress, however incremental? Perhaps the annoyances are real, perhaps they are perceived. Perhaps they are a reflection of slowly rising awareness levels. But the study doesn’t tell us any of these important details. Again, there’s little question that people with celiac disease need more information up front as they begin to follow a gluten-free diet, but clearly more input and study is needed so that we can come up with an accurate picture of the challenges and provide the best ways to meet them. What’s your experience of the rapidly changing gluten-free landscape? Read more at: JOURNAL OF HUMAN NUTRITION & DIETETICS. First published: 02 October 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12597
  2. Celiac.com 10/17/2018 - In the interviews I conducted last year, the Celiac.com viewers shared with me some disturbing stories about how others either sabotaged their gluten-free diet or how their gluten-free requirements are continually scrutinized and doubted. Here are a few examples: A co-worker at my office ate a gluten-containing burrito and thought it would be funny to cross-contaminate my work space. With his gluten-coated hands, he touched my phone, desk, pencils, pens, etc. while I was not at my desk. I came back and was contaminated. I had to take several days off of work from being so sick. The waiter at a restaurant where I was eating dinner asked me if I was really “a celiac” or if I was avoiding gluten as a “fad dieter.” He told me the food was gluten-free when he served it, only to come up to me after I ate the dinner and admit there was “a little” gluten in it. My cleaning people were eating Lorna Doones (gluten-containing cookies) while cleaning my gluten-free kitchen, cross-contaminating literally everything in it. When I noticed I exclaimed, “I am allergic to gluten, please put your cookies in this plastic bag and wash your hands.” They chided, “You have insulted our food. We are hungry and we will eat anything we want to, when we want to.” At a family dinner, Aunt Suzie insisted that I try her special holiday fruit bread. In front of everyone around the table, she brushed off my protests and insisted that I over exaggerated my food sensitivities saying, “a little bit wouldn’t hurt you.” These are but a few of an exhaustive list of situations that we regularly contend with. What can possibly be the rationale for any of this conduct? I’m providing some recent headlines that may impact the attitudes of those we interact with and would like to hear what you think influence this behavior (see questions below). Recently, the New York Times published an article entitled, “The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten.” The title alone casts doubt on the severity of gluten exposure for those with CD (Myth, 2015) In his political campaign, Senator Ted Cruz stated that if elected President, he would not provide gluten-free meals to the military, in order to direct spending toward combat fortification (Wellness, 2/18/16). Business Insider.com called Tom Brady’s gluten, dairy free diet “insane” (Brady, 2017). Michael Pollen is quoted as saying that the gluten-free diet was “social contagion.” Further, he says, “There are a lot of people that hear from their friends, ‘I got off gluten and I sleep better, the sex is better, and I’m happier,’ and then they try it and they feel better too. [It’s] the power of suggestion” (Pollan, 2014). Jimmy Kimmel said, “Some people can’t eat gluten for medical reasons… that I get. It annoys me, but that I get,” and proceeded to interview people following a gluten-free diet, asking them “what is gluten.” Most interviewed did not know what gluten is. (ABC News, 2018). Do headlines like this enable others to malign those of us making our dietary needs known? Do these esteemed people talking about gluten cast doubt on what we need to survive? Humans are highly influenced by others when it comes to social eating behavior. Higgs (2015) asserts that people follow “eating norms” (p. 39) in order to be liked. Roth, et al. (2000) found that people consumed similar amounts of food when eating together. Batista and Lima (2013) discovered that people consumed more nutritious food when eating with strangers than when eating with familiar associates. These studies indicate that we are hypersensitive of what others think about what we eat. One can surmise that celebrity quips could also influence food-related behaviors. Part of solving a social problem is identifying the root cause of it, so please weigh in by answering the following questions: How do you handle scrutiny or sabotage of others toward your dietary requirements? Please speculate on what cultural, religious or media influences you suppose contribute to a rationalization for the sabotage and/or scrutiny from others when we state we are observing a gluten-free diet? Are people emulating something they heard in church, seen on TV, or read online? We welcome your answers below. References: ABC. (2018). Retrived from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/jimmy-kimmel-asks-what-is-gluten-23655461 Batista, M. T., Lima. M. L. (2013). Who’s eating what with me? Indirect social influence on ambivalent food consumption. Psicologia: Reflexano e Critica, 26(1), 113-121. Brady. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/tom-brady-gisele-bundchen-have-an-insane-diet-2017-2 Higgs, S. (2015). Social norms and their influence on eating behaviors. Appetite 86, 38-44. Myth. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/the-myth-of-big-bad-gluten.html Pollan, M. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/michael-pollan-gluten-free_n_5319357.html Roth, D. A., Herman, C. P., Polivy, J., & Pliner, P. (2000). Self-presentational conflict in social eating situations: A normative perspective. Appetite, 26, 165-171. Wellness. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ted-cruz-gluten-free-military-political-corectness_us_56c606c3e4b08ffac127f09f
  3. Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner. A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat. I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes. I said, “Great. Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side. I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat. Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. At social gatherings, I’ve been challenged too by those who ask if I am really “allergic,” or just eating gluten free as a “fad.” I’ve been told many times by hosts and hostesses that, “a little won’t hurt you,” or “everything in moderation,” or “if it is made with loving hands, it is good for you to eat.” Of course, all of this is bunk for those with food allergies or celiac disease. A little bit may kill us, and whether made with loving hands or not, it will certainly make us sick. Those of us with food allergies and/or celiac disease walk a tightrope with friends and relatives. The old rules of etiquette just don’t work anymore. We don’t want to insult anybody, we don’t want to be isolated, and we also don’t want to risk our health by eating foods that may contain ingredients we cannot tolerate. So what do we do? Etiquette books advise us to eat what is put in front of us when we are guests in someone’s home. They caution us at all costs not to insult our hostess. Rather, we are instructed to compliment the hostess on her good cooking, flavor combinations, and food choices. But when foods are prepared in a cross-contaminated environment with ingredients we are allergic to, we cannot follow the old social constructs that do not serve us. We need to work together to rewrite the rules, so that we can be included in social gatherings without fear of cross-contamination, and without offending anyone. Let’s figure out how to surmount these social situations together. Each edition of this column will present a scenario, and together, we’ll determine appropriate, polite, and most importantly, safe ways to navigate this tricky gluten-free/food allergies lifestyle in a graceful way. If someone disagrees with our new behavior patterns, we can refer them to this column and say, “Here are the new rules for those of us with food allergies or celiac disease.” When we are guests in someone’s home, we can give them links to this column so they understand the plight we are faced with, bite after bite. Perhaps this will help those of us living with us to understand, be more compassionate, and accepting of our adaptations to keep ourselves safe. This column will present a scenario such as the one above, and ask that you comment on how you would navigate it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s share ideas. Using the example above, here’s the scenario for this issue: What would you do? Your kind-hearted friend invites you to dinner and insists on cooking for you. You arrive and the first thing she says is, “I’ve spent all day making this for you. Oh, I bought this salad dressing for you, but you might want to read the ingredients first.” You do, and it contains malt vinegar. You look around the kitchen and notice evidence of cross-contamination in the rest of the meal. What do you do? Please comment below and feel free to share the tricky scenarios that you’ve encountered too. Let’s discuss how to surmount these social situations. What would you do?
  4. Has anyone here mastered the social awkwardness of saying no to gluten? Let me expand. It seems that there have been social invitations my husband and I have been invited to by people who we're getting to know (we moved across the country this February), and there's this sort of offense taken if we decline because of my celiacs. Or there was this one time someone made me brownies with oats - specifically for me. I strained a smile and felt I had no option but to accept and eat (okay, it was really good - but I'm always paranoid with oats, so I try to avoid them). Even if someone smiles and says, "Don't worry, my sister has something with gluten, and I can prepare for it." I'm still left with a little bit of discomfort in the back of my mind, knowing that "something with gluten" could mean full blown celiacs, or just a bit of an intolerance if they over do it. Or! After church every Sunday, we do a fellowship meal, and often, it's laden with gluten. If it's not, I'm not sure how much I can rely on others to cater for those needs. It just seems we've been suppressed to forever alone status because of my celiacs, and I know my husband twitches a bit at it, though he'd never say or blame me for my condition. How have you mastered the art of declining social invitations? Can anyone relate? Or am I really missing the obvious here? (Like packing myself lunch for Sundays etc).
  5. Well I'm sure I'm not the only one. But its so awkward when someone reacts to my gluten free status by purchasing food for me. And most of the time its not even gluten free (they thought it was). Or its got a ton of other crap that would give me indigestion. Then I feel kinda bad and offer to pay them back, and remind them that gluten is just one of many foods I avoid. Did anyone else go thru this situation??
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