To commemorate Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Good For You Gluten Free, a leading gluten-free website, today reveals the results of its Challenges Facing the Gluten-Free Community survey. The 1,000-person survey finds that the vast majority of gluten-free people (85%) describe eating out as “extremely” or “very challenging”, making it the top challenge faced by the community followed by the high cost of food (71%), feeling emotional or anxious about food (55%), maintaining a healthy weight (53%), and being healthy (51%).
“Most gluten-free people want to eat at restaurants, a normal human desire, yet eating out poses a high risk of cross contamination that can leave someone sick to their stomachs; this happens regardless if the restaurant offers gluten-free options or not,” says Jenny Levine Finke, founder of Good For You Gluten Free.
Other challenges faced by the gluten-free community include:
- Fifty-five percent say they feel “emotional” or “anxious” about food, which Finke says is likely due to the high treatment burden of the gluten-free diet.
- About one-third say they maintain a dedicated gluten-free kitchen at home, and nearly 79% say they prepare the majority of their meals.
- Nearly 78% describe their gluten-free diet as “very strict”, yet 44% say they “would” or “maybe would” eat something that came in contact with gluten.
“The fact that nearly half of the respondents say they would eat something that came in contact with gluten is disturbing but not surprising given the high burden of the gluten-free diet. This community has a strong desire to do normal activities, like eat at restaurants, and a strong resolve not to let their disability get in the way of living,” says Finke. “Unfortunately, such resolve may come at a cost to one’s health.”
The survey also highlights the need for healthcare providers to better understand gluten disorders. Thirty-four percent of respondents say their primary care doctor “knows very little about gluten disorders” and “was not helpful,” stats that Finke describes as “discouraging.”
About Good For You Gluten Free
Good For You Gluten Free is dedicated to helping the gluten-free community live full and healthy lives. It offers information on celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, recipes, and restaurant and product reviews. Jenny Levine Finke founded the site in 2015 and authored, “Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You.” Learn more at Good For You Gluten Free