What responsibility does the media have when it comes to celiac disease?

media responsibility

If you’ve followed this blog since the beginning (bless your heart), you know I’ve railed against the media many, many times when it comes to celiac disease. When I was young, it seemed to me that most of the media had some sort of moral standing and cared about what they were putting out there. Perhaps I was naive, but now…it’s all about eyeballs, clicks and money.

This brings us to the latest travesty. Body+Soul is an Australian media company with a weekly audience of over 1.6 million people. They “are all about embodying health, happiness and wellbeing through achievable goals, inspiration and community support. Whether it’s in print every Sunday or daily bodyandsoul.com.au, Australians can count on the body+soul team to help them live a healthy and happy life.

Oh…and they also say this about themselves: “body+soul has a long-standing tradition of journalistic integrity and credibility.

So basically they’re saying “You can trust us.”

I’m sure you know where this is going.

Laura Roscioli is a self-described writer, model and brand consultant. She has written a variety of articles for all sorts of publications. Last week, she had an article published on Body+Soul titled “I’m coeliac, so why could I eat gluten in Europe?” I’m not gonna link to it cause I don’t want to give them the ad dollars. But here is the gist of the article.

Laura was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 13 and according to what she says in the article, she definitely knows it’s a serious disease. And yet, she says…

I’ve had eras of adulthood where I’ve been really cautious, where I’ve stuck to my gluten-free diet and been more vocal about it at restaurants. I’ve had other eras where I slip up a bit, and eat a piece of crusty sourdough here and there, maybe a piece of pizza. Now I’ve landed somewhere in the middle, where I’ll allow myself a bite of something from time to time, but mostly it’s not worth the stomach cramps and the sluggish day-after feeling.

Then she goes on to say she went to Europe recently and “all her self-control went out the window” and yet she didn’t feel that sick. She explains that it could be due to European wheat having less gluten and no glyphosate. And proceeded to show herself eating pizza and croissants.

Look…that’s her call. She wants to poison herself? Have at it. Although I wish she would keep it to herself. Jennifer Esposito once said something about people with celiac disease that stuck with me. She said:

People need to understand this is a serious disease. The more we have people not being able to decipher if this is an allergy, a fad or a disease, our community is getting sicker and sicker and sicker. I ask you to be responsible about this disease. I am asking that people be responsible and respectful for the people that suffer with this disease. It is not fun. It is not easy. And it is not a fad.

The question is…why the hell would Body+Soul publish this? How is this ‘nutritional’ advice? It’s not nutritional. It’s dangerous. And it makes our disease seem less credible and less serious. Would they post an article about someone with severe peanut allergies saying peanuts from Europe aren’t as harmful? Of course not.

I’m going to reach out to them privately and send them the link to this article. I’m not expecting a response because these companies never take responsibility.

And that’s the f***ing problem.

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11 thoughts on “What responsibility does the media have when it comes to celiac disease?”

  1. Donna Schaffer

    Absolutely crazy!!! I’ve had people say the same thing to me!!! You can eat gluten in Europe!! Thank you for being the best watch dog and keeping us safe and informed!!

  2. Katrina Lieben

    Yep! So much misinformation out there! I’ve had people with celiac tell me they can eat artesian sourdough too, I can’t even…. It is so dangerous and people are given so little information by their health care providers. “Influencers” and self proclaimed “experts” need to be more careful! Ugh!

      1. Oh man this myth is all over the internet.
        Yes the wheat is different in Europe then the one in North America, but it is just as harmful for coeliacs.

        Statistics prove that there are as many coeliacs in Europe as in North America, this is indicative of the harmfulness of wheat, regardless of where it comes from or what variety it is.

  3. I remember reaching out to you about the subject of sourdough. A neighbor has told me twice now that I need to try the new bakery in town re: their sourdough which the bakery claims is safe for celiacs. Umm, no. I looked them up and no, there is nothing gluten free about the place. It’s sick that are claiming their stuff is safe.
    Re: Laura’s article, I can’t even. I don’t understand why some people make the worst nutritional decisions for themselves that will genuinely hurt their insides. Not sure if it’s for attention or a lack of understanding what the disease actually does if one doesn’t follow the diet. Body+soul shouldn’t have printed the article.

  4. I am European. I am Dutch; lived in various countries; now already quite some time back in the Netherlands. Glutendude, I am one of your silent readers; reading your blog regularly since I was diagnosed having coeliac 10 years ago.
    I can assure you and all readers that the idea of wheat in Europe having no gluten is…. preposterous. Ridiculous. I am not finding words strong enough to describe that idea.
    When having to travel internationally the Google translate helps: I just take a Google photo of the ingredients and translate them.
    And I make sure I have a paper with me in the local language; usually I can find a website for people with coeliac disease- I loved the Portuguese-language one for Moçambique, advising Maniok and stating at the end ‘when in doubt, eat a banana as they are safely wrapped by nature’.
    You made my stay in the USA in 2017 easier without ever knowing.
    This idea of European wheat having less or no gluten triggered at least me enough to, after 10 years of regularly reading, write a ‘thank you’ from an European coeliac!

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

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