A recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics has everyone talking about how bad the gluten free diet can be, especially for children. A documentary on celiac disease is set to air on Chicago-area television this week. A new app allows Irish diners to find gluten-free-friendly restaurants and provides discounts for those places. This is the latest in gluten free news!
Journal of Pediatrics article has everyone talking about the gluten free diet
There’s been a lot of shade thrown at the gluten free diet this month, and this article from The Sun sums it up nicely. Most of it stems from a recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics, which warns:
- Gluten-free packaged foods frequently contain a greater density of fat and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts
- Increased fat and calorie intake have been identified in individuals after a GFD [gluten-free diet].
- Obesity, overweight, and new-onset insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have been identified after initiation of a GFD.
- A GFD also may lead to deficiencies in B vitamins, folate, and iron, given a lack of nutrient fortification of many gluten-free products.
The article also warns about the higher risk of exposure to certain toxins, like arsenic and mercury, when on a gluten free diet.
This same article has been most widely quoted in stories warning against making children follow a gluten free diet (unless they have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, obviously.) The Boston Globe makes the case that it forces children to feel left out of things like pizza parties and birthday celebrations with cake. Then they suggest that it could lead to eating disorders later in life.
Here’s what I want to know: if you are a parent with celiac disease or a wheat allergy and you are incredibly sensitive to gluten, how are you supposed to do this? Doesn’t it make sense to prepare the same meals for the whole family, even if that means everyone eats gluten free pasta? Do you just let them do their wheat-eating at school and friends’ houses? Obviously the concerns about vitamin deficiencies and calorie intake are valid, but I’m just not sure how this works practically in a family with at least one really gluten-sensitive family member. If this describes your situation, I’d love to hear how you handle it – please tell me in the comments!
At any rate, what we can all take away from this is that we should be paying attention to our nutrient intake, not eating too much gluten free bread or cake, and watching our exposure to arsenic via rice (which is a good idea for anyone, really).
Illinois filmmaker produces documentary on celiac disease
Filmmaker Michael Frolichstein suffered from mysterious stomach ailments from childhood before eventually getting a celiac diagnosis at age 40, according to the Chicago Tribune. His documentary, “The Celiac Project” is being shown on television channel PBS in the Chicago area this week. The hour-long film features interviews with adults and children affected by the disease and shows the complications faced by some who received late diagnoses.
To order a DVD of the film or to schedule a screening, visit The Celiac Project website.
New Irish app gives deals to gluten free diners
A new gluten free app out of Dublin, Ireland helps its users find gluten free restaurants, read and write reviews about them, and provides special discounts to be used in those places. Dealiac features a website membership card and a mobile app which allow users to access these benefits, for free.
Dealiac is the world’s first diners club exclusively for those who avoid gluten. We take the hassle out of finding restaurants that offer gluten free food while providing a platform for restaurants to market their food. We’re building relationships with numerous restaurants, both large and small, to expand their gluten free menu. – Dealiac website
The app may not always be free, though; the Dealiac website says:
Dealiac is in its prelaunch phase, therefore, for a limited time we’re offering our one-year memberships absolutely free with no strings attached.
The app is available across Ireland, though it appears that the current restaurants they have partnered with are all in the Dublin area.
This is a really cool idea, though I’m wondering what they will eventually end up charging for the service. Getting discounts of up to 50% off at your favorite gluten-free-friendly restaurants may well be worth a nominal annual fee. Yelp manages to do this for free via their mobile app and check in offers, though it’s not gluten-free specific, and the discounts can be tough to spot. Of course, Yelp is a huge, international company now, so that’s not an entirely fair comparison.
Mostly I’m just jealous that it’s not available where I am.
What do you think about the article in the Journal of Pediatrics? Have you seen the celiac documentary? Are you in Ireland and able to use the Dealiac app? Tell me about it all in the comments!