Glamour Does Gluten. Badly.

Another day, another dismal and under-researched article on coeliac and gluten free, this time from Glamour Magazine. I’ll itemise some of my problems with it. Feel free to add your own.

1. Description of coeliac disease as ‘gluten aversion’. Food aversion is a psychological response to food. Coeliac disease is not psychological.

2. “There is no cure … except for a GFD”. The GFD is not a cure, but the way to manage the disease.

3. “Not everyone suffers from coeliac disease. Or is sensitive to it.” – Not everyone is sensitive to coeliac disease? What?

4. Recommendation of an IgG testing kit which cannot test for coeliac disease (and has been discredited as a method for testing food intolerance).

5. 1 in 100, not 1 in 300, have CD (and perhaps more, if the most recent, Australian study is to go by).

6. Spelt is not GF – how many more times?

7. No clear acknowledgement that oats are usually contaminated with wheat flour and hence not safely gluten-free / or advice to choose gluten-free oats.

8. Despite a quote from an expert stating that “There’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight”, the writer feels it appropriate to conclude, for no justifiable reason, “give it a crack and see if it works for you”. My reasons for not giving it a crack, written with Glamour’s target reader in mind, are here.

Edited to add: Julia Marriott, a dietitian with a special interest in food sensitivities, has blogged on the problems with the article’s food swaps here.  (Saturday 21st September.)

Edited to add II: Pts 2, 4 and 6 have been corrected today (Sunday 22nd September). There has been no acknowledgment of their previous errors, as far as I can tell.

Edited to add III: Further improvements have been made, I noticed today (Tuesday 2nd October), including input from Sarah Sleet of Coeliac UK, and removal of description of coeliac as ‘aversion’.  

7 Comments

  1. Caleigh

    Oh dear. It feels like we're beating our heads against a wall on days like these, doesn't it? My biggest problem with the article (there are many, all of the above are on the list) is the complete and utter lack of research. Is Coeliac Disease such a joke to Glamour Magazine that they felt justified in publishing this joke of an article, or are they so driven by the "fashionable" aspect of eating gluten free that they don't care that it's a serious problem for many?

    The sloppiness of Glamour's piece makes me wonder if they even bothered to even do a cursory Google search for 'gluten free diet'. If they had, Wikipedia would have informed them that spelt contains gluten, and Coeliac UK's rather helpful fact-sheet would have improved their writing a thousandfold.

    Grrrr…

    Reply
  2. dairyfreebabyandme

    Well spotted, Alex! Very eloquently put. Can't believe you were reading Glamour magazine, though – waiting room, or just flicking through the other half's magazine, out of curiosity 😉

    Seriously, though, it seems there's a lot of bad journalism out there about 'specialty diets' that really does need challenging. There's a whole magazine full that I'm planning to get my teeth into, sometime soon. I can't believe magazine editors don't realise how important it is to get the facts right.

    Hope they take notice of you on this one.

    Reply
  3. Alex G

    I ought to have included the urgency of the title of the article – as if this was The Article to End All Articles on gluten-free … Grrrr x 2.

    Reply
  4. Alex G

    Ha! I have a subscription, naturally … 😉 Sadly, the truth is more mundane: it just came up in a search. Actually, it may just be online – don't know for sure whether published in print. Look forward to your magazine critique!

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I was astonished when I read this artice. Give a gluten free diet a crack!! I think it belittles the real suffers of Ceoliacs disease. I have Ceoliacs disease, if all I suffered was a few muscular aches and pains, I could cope. No mention of bloated stomach, the sickness, the migraines, the fuziness. Try your gluten free diet, for example, stop sharing the toaster with those in your home with their "normal" bread? It wont matter to you, but it would to a Ceoliac! There is total utter lack of research, and real lack understanding of what Ceoliac disease is, how those that have it suffer, and the health issues which us Ceoliac are subject to!!! Please, please, please do some research before publishing utter trash like this!

    Reply
  6. Alex G

    Well, I guess at least they've made some changes to the article – although I've not seen any acknowledgment anywhere that they have done so …

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Gluten Free Beauty Won’t Save Your Life | Allergy Insight

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