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Monday, November 28, 2011

It's not a fad, says the New York Times

gluten_free.jpeg
The New York Times Magazine published a story Sunday about celiac disease and gluten-free diets. The article is something of a departure from the usual, since it's written by a journalist, Keith O'Brien, who was diagnosed with celiac disease when he was 26 in 1999.

As such, the article isn't influenced by the usual skepticism about the disease's widespread diagnosis in recent years. O'Brien interviewed the top scientists in the field, one of whom screened 13,000 people for the antibodies that indicate the condition. The results showed that 1 in every 133 Americans has celiac disease.

One scientist compared blood samples from the 1950s through the 1990s and "found that young people today are nearly five times as likely to have celiac disease, for reasons he and others researchers cannot explain."

In other words, the disease really is on the rise. It's not just a fad. The article looks at the way General Mills and other big companies have been responding to the epidemic — and producing sales estimated as high as $6.3 billion.

Many Atlanta restaurants have been offering gluten-free menu items for several years now. The Atlanta Gluten-Free Dining Club holds regular meet-ups at restaurants and its website includes a discussion forum. An especially prolific blog is Milledgeville professor Ginger Carter Miller's Gluten Free in Georgia...Finally. Also: Tiffany Janes' Gluten-free Atlanta. The Atlanta Examiner includes numerous articles on the subject (you'll have to use their search function).

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