$4.6 billion: The gluten free fad cashes in

$4.6 billion: The gluten free fad cashes in

A year ago I noted an alarming increase in celiac disease patients – it seemed to be afflicting a lot of rich, white, American women.

Outrage and scorn were delivered to my door; dozens of comments vilified me for saying it was not a real disease – which would have been fine, had I actually said that. Yet dwarfing those comments by hundreds were the anecdotal claims of people who had self-diagnosed themselves as celiac, at least until they discovered that since it was an actual life-threatening disease, they couldn’t claim they had it, so they had reverted to being gluten sensitive, or even intolerant – vague and non-descriptive and requiring no pesky diagnosis.

It turns out I was not wrong and the way to know I was not wrong is to follow the money. ‘Gluten free’ became a $4.2 billion industry in the last year, despite the fact that there are the same number of celiac patients and unless you are celiac, going gluten-free is doing you no good. If you are clueless, like Lady Gaga, you even think it is a diet, which might explain why she ballooned up after going off gluten.

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