0425 GMT July 22, 2019
The diet has no proven health benefits and could actually increase fat and calorie intake and add to nutritional deficiencies, say scientists, according to express.co.uk.
Gluten-free is good if you have specific auto-immune conditions such as coeliac disease but it can mask the symptoms if you have not yet been diagnosed.
Those with the condition often have an allergy to wheat.
Although the gluten-free food industry had grown 136 percent in two years, this was far greater than the rise in people with the condition for whom the diet is the only treatment.
It has become a fad among celebrities but a study of 1,500 Americans showed that most gave ‘no reason’ when asked why they chose gluten-free.
The Journal of Pediatrics reports the trend is worrying for children. Dr. Norelle Reilly, from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, said: “Parents place their children on a gluten-free diet in the belief that it relieves symptoms, can prevent CD, or is a healthy alternative without testing for CD or consulting a dietitian.
“One misconception is that the gluten-free diet is a healthy choice with no disadvantages but in fact, in individuals without CD or wheat allergy, there are no proven health benefits.
“It could increase fat and calorie intake, contribute to nutritional deficiencies, and obscure a diagnosis of CD.
“Gluten-free is not necessary for healthy first-degree relatives of those with CD or for healthy infants at risk of developing CD.
“For a small subset guided by a dietitian, a gluten-free diet can lead to better health and an improved quality of life.
“But there is no evidence a gluten-free diet is beneficial for children without a diagnosis or wheat allergy.”