Gluten-​Sensitive? 3% Say No to Wheat

"Many in the medical profession believe that celiac disease is the only true gluten sensitivity disorder. But nutritionists ‰ÛÒ and patients ‰ÛÒ often see things differently. In a small but well conducted study, U.S. National Institutes of Health researchers looked at 59 patients who weren‰Ûªt diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy but believed gluten-​containing food was causing them intestinal problems."

"After only one week, those who were taking the gluten pills reported a significant difference in symptoms compared to those who took non-​gluten placebo pills. On top of intestinal pains, they felt abdominal bloating, a foggy mind, depression, and stomach ulcers," according to, "There‰Ûªs more to gluten sensitivity than coeliac disease" in NYR Natural News.

"In addition, they found that when switching the groups around, participants‰Ûª suspected non-​celiac gluten sensitivity became worse with symptoms ‰Û÷increasing significantly‰Ûª during the one week of gluten intake, compared with their week on the rice starch."

"Increasingly, gluten sensitivity is being seen as part of a broad spectrum, with celiac disease on one end and mild gluten sensitivity on the other," NYR Natural News reported. "Many people fall somewhere in the middle, testing negative through traditional blood tests for celiac disease, but still experiencing silent inflammation and other harmful effects from eating wheat."

"In medicine, this condition is now being called Non-​Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or NCGS, which refers to patients who have gluten-​related symptoms but not celiac disease or wheat allergies."

"Research estimates that there are 18 million Americans who have a gluten sensitivity, but their test indicates they don‰Ûªt have celiac disease," Samantha Olson wrote in Medical Daily's "Gluten Sensitivity That Isn't Celiac: Rigorous Study Finds Evidence For Sensitivity Without Disease."

Samantha Olson pointed out that, "Gluten-​free products have taken over large portions of the food market. In 2011, gluten-​free food sales were at $7.3 billion, and by 2016, experts predict sales will more than double the total to $15.5 billion annually. There‰Ûªs no denying the market is growing rapidly, but there‰Ûªs been questions into whether or not avoiding gluten is actually a worthwhile health hazard."

"Celiac disease is a viably testable condition that 1 in every 100 Americans does suffer from," Olson explained in Medical Daily. "It's an autoimmune condition that can destroy the small intestine if confronted with the wrong diet of the wheat protein known as gluten."

AudienceSCAN found that 3.1% of consumers describe themselves as "gluten-​free." This could be related to celiac disease or to personal health choices. Either way, it would behoove your marketers to highlight their gluten-​free products and fresh offerings. They are 41% more likely than average shoppers to load up their mini-​vans with gluten-​free groceries and meals, so make sure they can stock up! 17% of gluten-​free adults plan to attend health fairs/​expos in the next 12 months. 24% celebrated New Year's Eve at a restaurant, bar or hotel, so think about advertising special gluten-​free menus for this holiday. Gluten-​free eaters are 77% more likely than average to respond to ads on social networks.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.