Nutrition News

A Gluten-free Diet Might Harm Your Healthy Child

By Photograph by Pdeitiker - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain

A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics has shown that a gluten-free diet might be harmful to a child without celiac disease.

According to the study, healthy children fed a gluten-free diet are at a higher risk for obesity, insulin resistance disorders and critical vitamin deficiencies.

The study strikes at the heart of the popularity of gluten-free diets.  The author of the study claims that the idea of no side-effects of a gluten-free diet is a “misconception”.  In a statement the author goes on to say:

In fact, in individuals without CD or wheat allergy, there are no proven health benefits

Celiac disease is an auto-immune condition that is hereditary.  It only affects a small percentage of people but the statement from the author says that the number has been increasing.

ABC News’ chief health editor, Dr. Richard Besser, says that gluten-free is a trend that is “all about marketing”.  He goes on to state that

If your child has celiac disease … then gluten is a big deal, otherwise it’s not

The article cited a 2015 study where 35% of people gave “no reason” as their explanation for going gluten-free.  This is important because when an adult in the family starts on a diet the rest of the family generally goes along.

Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltro endorses gluten-free diet and is one reason why “gluten-free” foods has rapidly grown in popularity.  However, many gluten-free foods can lack the nutrients that are necessary, even critical, for a growing child.  Jennifer Willoughby, a pediatric nutrition specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital states:

They lose out on a lot of B vitamins, a lot of iron, and fiber if the diet is not followed in a proper way.

Gluten is a protein and is present in many grains including rye, barley and wheat.  People affected by celiac disease suffers from inflammation of the the small bowel as the body over-reacts to the presence of gluten.

The author is a Columbia University gastroenterologist and appears in the Journal of Pediatrics commentary section.  The article is titled “The Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Fact, Fiction, and Fad”

 

Learn to trade

Leave A Comment

To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.