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Invited Commentary
November 2016

Maybe It’s Not the Gluten

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1717-1718. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5271

Recent consumer surveys indicate that a gluten-free diet has become one of the most popular health food trends in the United States, such that 1 in 5 individuals have eliminated or reduced gluten in their daily diet, a number that far exceeds the small subgroup that carries a diagnosis of celiac disease or IgE-mediated wheat allergy.1 In this issue, Kim et al2 report the results of their analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), reporting that the prevalence of celiac disease has remained relatively stable from 2009 through 2014, although the prevalence of individuals reporting adherence to a gluten-free diet has more than tripled (0.52% in 2009-2010 to 1.69% in 2013-2014).