The interwebs are abuzz today over news that Miley Cyrus has not only gone gluten-free, but has also told everyone that they should go gluten-free too.
According to Miley, “gluten is crapppp”.
It seems like everyone was chatting about their thoughts on the subject, and dietitians were trying to remind the public that there is no need to avoid gluten if you don’t have an actual medical issue with it.
My favorite post came from someone you should be following if you have celiac, Gluten Dude. Read his opinion here – “Miley Cyrus Goes Gluten Free (and the World Goes Insane)”.
Here’s what popped up when I did a Google search for “Miley Cyrus gluten”.
When asked how I felt about the whole thing, I immediately realized that whenever things like this happen, and gluten gets lumped in with the words “fad” and “trendy”, it makes it harder for me to order safely at a restaurant. Here’s a conversation I had with someone about it on Twitter this morning.
That last tweet had me laughing as I pictured a cartoonish waiter with a long mustache turning his nose up at the words “gluten-free”. Can you see it?
But seriously, this is the trouble I run into when this diet that keeps me from getting horribly sick gets viewed as trendiness or even worse, pickiness (that’s a whole other blog post). If the restaurant staff doesn’t take my dietary needs seriously, I pay a very hefty price! My health is shot for weeks.
I don’t blame Miley Cyrus for the crazy attention that comes from her statement. She feels better and she wants to let people know why. Don’t we all do that? And let’s be honest, before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I didn’t have a clue as to how difficult it would be to safely eat gluten-free. When I learned about celiac in school, it was still thought of as a rare disease. And working with new moms, the subject didn’t come up very often.
Even when I made an effort to accommodate my one celiac friend at parties, I wasn’t thinking about cross contamination or hidden ingredients. (Julie I love you, and I’m so sorry I didn’t know better!)
So maybe this kind of celebrity attention is a good thing. It gives you and me the chance to educate people on the difference between gluten-free as a “lifestyle choice” and gluten-free as a medical necessity.
What do you think? Is this celebrity attention to gluten good or bad?
Personally… I don’t think it helps. I agree with your tweet about the eye rolls. I know of several people who are gluten-free by choice, and one who even describes herself as Celiac, though she has never been tested. I think it’s an attention thing, and it’s frustrating. I may only be saying this because I’m jealous that they can eat gluten and choose not to, but…
I think the attention is on the “new trendy gluten free diet” and not on the Celiac/intolerance side of the issue.
(stepping off my soapbox now 🙂
I think you’re right, that frustrates me too. If you CAN eat gluten, then eat gluten! I wish I could!
It’s a mixed bag, though mostly negative (in my humble opinion). Each pseudo-celebrity that jumps on the bandwagon makes it that much more difficult for those who “need” to be gluten free to be taken seriously. It doesn’t create awareness. It creates trendiness.
And for those who say that it will mean more choices in the store as more food manufacturers get into the game, I don’t need 10 more choices of stale bread. I need celiac to be treated as the serious autoimmune disease that it is and I need the medical community up their game as well. Too many misdiagnoses.
And thanks for the shout out in your post (although technically it’s “Gluten Dude” and not “Gluten Free Dude”. That name belongs to another.)
Oops, I fixed your name. Sorry about that!
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you about more gluten-free options in the store. More companies jumping on that wagon makes me nervous since there still isn’t a good labeling law in effect.
Laughable at best.
Currently a Nutrition/dietetics student, and my clinical nut. professor has been long warning us about this “gluten trend”. It was just a matter of time before celebrities jump on this and ride it hard. Additionally, I have heard of physicians assigning a “detox diet” and gluten is one of the things that is eliminated. Baffles me how someone can say that they are “x” without having been tested.
btw, great blog. Huge fan.
Thanks so much Harold! I’m glad that the education has finally caught up and you are learning so much in school.
I hate that people think avoiding gluten is the key to health – yes, some people truly have an intolerance, but most people think it’s healthy because they have to avoid sweets and refined carbs that they typically over-indulge in.
Very true Claire. Anyone who cleans up their diet will lose weight, it’s not because of the gluten.
And perhaps that is why she said allergy. (or maybe not) I know the difference, but I am guilty of that. I get tired of explaining celiac and having people still not get it. But people understand allergy. When we go to InNOut I’ve given up saying celiac, I just say I have a kid with a wheat and gluten allergy who needs a protein style burger. They wash hands, have a separate grill, keep it away from the rest of my order, and use the allergy button on the register. I know I’m not furthering anyone’s education, but …. It gets me farther a whole lot faster. Sigh…
Tiffany, that is a great point. I say allergy when eating out too because the staff seems to understand that better.
Oh, and intolerance is such a useless word. You say intolerance and people jump to “hypochondriac who is imaging things.” My friend’s kid has GI and is as sensitive if not more than my celiac son. But they get the eyeball roll all the time.
Yes that is frustrating too. Intolerance can cause horrible symptoms too and should be taken seriously. The worst is when people start labeling you as “picky” when your body truly reacts to certain foods.