Awareness of alternative gluten-free grains for individuals with coealiac disease

Laheri, Zainab orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6826-6468 and Soon, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434 (2018) Awareness of alternative gluten-free grains for individuals with coealiac disease. British Food Journal, 120 (12). pp. 2793-2803. ISSN 0007-070X

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Purpose: Coeliac disease (CD) is a prevalent autoimmune disorder, affecting 1 in 100 of all 4 individuals in the UK. Currently, the only treatment for CD is complete avoidance of gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. The use of alternative grains (AG) is 6 highly recommended to individuals with CD to improve and diversify their diet. This study aims to determine the current knowledge of the gluten free diet (GFD), consumption rates of AG and awareness of AG, for individuals diagnosed with CD.
Methodology: A total of 100 participants were recruited via local coeliac support groups as well as an ‘Allergy and Free From Show’, to participate in a survey. Consent was obtained from all organisations and all individual participants, prior to collecting data. The questionnaire consists of 10 questions, related to participants’ demographic characteristics, 1knowledge of gluten free food (GFF) and AG and consumption rate of AG. Chi-Square (x2) analyses were conducted to compare the variables between gender and time of diagnosis.
Findings: Overall, both genders possessed good knowledge of the GFD. Yogurt, vinegar and oats resulted in the highest incorrect responses. It was found that females possesed better knowledge of both GFF and AG. Rice, quinoa and corn were amongst the most popular AG consumed whilst Job’s tears, fonio and sorghum were the least consumed grains. Females reported a higher consumption rate of AG than males. Additionally, those more recently diagnosed had poorer knowledge of the GFD, reduced consumption rates of AG and poor awareness of AG.
Originality: It can be suggested that the incorporation of AG into the diet, can prove beneficial for coeliacs and that both knowledge and education, play a fundamental role in determining consumption rates amongst individuals.

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