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Festive Spirit Fails Coeliacs

Monday, 05 December 2011

MORE than three quarters of those with dietary problems feel isolated at Christmas because of their diet, it can be revealed.

Despite Christmas being a time for goodwill, a survey of people who follow a gluten and wheat free diet for medical reasons found that 78 per cent said they were left feeling excluded from the seasonal festivities because of what they can and can't eat.

Christmas parties are the main problem with the typical menu consisting of pastry canapés, mince pies and chocolates, it can be a real nightmare for the one in every 100 people in the UK with coeliac disease.

The research, carried out by DS-gluten free using their customer database of 50,000 people from across UK, also revealed that one in five admitted to knowingly eating food which contained gluten and wheat at Christmas despite it damaging their health.

Michelle Shinn, Retail Brand Manager for DS-gluten free, said: "We were shocked to find that so many of people following a special diet for medical reasons were likely to eat food during the festive period that could pose a serious risk to their long-term health.

"This highlights the worrying fact that despite Christmas being a time to bring people together, those affected are often left feeling segregated and 'different' to everyone else."

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition which is triggered by gluten found in wheat, rye and barley. For people with the disease, eating gluten could damage the lining of the gut, prevent normal digestion and the absorption of nutrients in food.

The disease can also cause osteoporosis, bowel cancer and an increased risk of other autoimmune diseases.

Michelle adds: "The number of people being diagnosed with food related medical conditions continues to rise, so it is becoming and more and more important to cater for them.

"Gluten and wheat free food is available in all major supermarkets and provides a wide range of products which can substitute typical party food that contains gluten and wheat, such as pasta, crackers, biscuits and cakes."

The majority of respondents also admitted that they had received terrible food gifts at Christmas from family and friends despite knowing about their condition. The main problem gifts included chocolates and biscuits which contained gluten and wheat. 

However, it isn't all bad as more than three fifths with the autoimmune condition would trust their family and friends to cook their Christmas dinner - despite the fact that stuffing, gravy and Yorkshire puddings would normally all contain gluten!

DS-gluten free is the market leader in gluten and wheat free food and its products can be found in all the major retailers across the UK.

To find out more about DS-gluten free, please visit http://www.dsglutenfree.co.uk/



For further information, interviews or images, please contact  Beattie Communications:


Tel: 0161 212 1754

Email: drschar@onlybeattie.com


Notes to editors:

  • Dr. Schär UK is the UK division of the European company Dr. Schär, market leader and pioneer in the gluten free food sector, drawing on the company's 30 year global heritage
  • Dr. Schär aims to be the leading food specialist for particular dietary and nutritional needs in Europe and America
  • The company was established to distribute and market gluten and wheat free products and remains committed to making gluten and wheat free food as convenient and tasty as mainstream foods
  • Its Dietary Specials (DS-gluten free) range is brand leader in the retail sector and its Glutafin brand is a leading brand in the healthcare channel
  • The company is also responsible for the marketing and distribution of the TRUfree brand in retail
  • Since 1998 the Warrington based team has been working closely with the loyal DS-gluten free customer base to develop a superb product range including ambient, frozen and chilled foods
  • Dr. Schär products cater for those with coeliac disease and wheat or gluten allergies or intolerances, and are also suitable for those who choose a gluten or wheat free diet for lifestyle reasons