Gluten-free, far from being a fad ?

On the occasion of the World Celiac Day which was held this weekend, Because Gus, the gluten-free media, unveiled the new edition of its annual barometer 2021 with the support of the Dietetic Sector and the French Association of Gluten Intolerants (AFDIAG). "In 2021, preconceived ideas about gluten and the gluten-free diet are still widespread," says Because Gus. "However, 24% of the French population is concerned by gluten-free, reports the Because Gus barometer. 8% have adopted this diet and 16% have a relative who is concerned. The switch to gluten-free is often shared by family and friends, since 72% of gluten-free people share the same dish at the table. According to the barometer, 63% of gluten-free people are women. They are also the most visible on social networks, where they share their experiences and recipes."

One of the main preconceived ideas is that gluten-free is just a fad. This is far from the truth, as in 94% of cases, people who are gluten-free are doing so because they have to. Among them: 45% are sensitive to gluten (or non-celiac hypersensitive), 19% stop eating gluten to relieve another autoimmune or digestive disease, 13% are gluten intolerant (these are the coeliacs), 10% are allergic to wheat, 7% stop eating gluten to eat like a member of the household in order to limit cross-contamination and possible traces of gluten.

The Covid 19 pandemic turned our lives upside down in 2020 and changed our consumption habits. Gluten-free people have not been spared. 43% of them said they had difficulty finding suitable products during the first containment in March 2020. However, 98% of them still buy gluten-free products. However, more of them are now turning to e-commerce to obtain products specifically adapted to their diet: 11% of gluten-free people in 2021 compared to only 7% in 2019. Moreover, 1 in 2 respondents say they are cooking more since the health crisis. 46% have started gluten-free baking in the past year, while 60% have increased the frequency of homemade gluten-free baking.

"The relationship between gluten-free people and health professionals remains complex. 55% of those questioned said they trusted specialist brands more than their doctor to provide them with information on gluten-free. Only one in two had informed their GP about the diet, while 83% had told their family about it. The lack of knowledge about coeliac disease remains a real problem in the diagnosis and support of this autoimmune disease," the survey concludes. Thus 28% of gluten-free people have adopted this diet without being tested on the advice of a health professional. This is a real mistake because, once the gluten-free diet has been adopted, it is no longer possible to diagnose coeliac disease and provide the necessary medical follow-up.

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