International Journal of Celiac Disease
ISSN (Print): 2334-3427 ISSN (Online): 2334-3486 Website: Editor-in-chief: Samasca Gabriel
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International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2015, 3(3), 102-107
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-3-3-3
Open AccessArticle

Following Gluten Free Diet: Less Available, Higher Cost and Poor Nutritional Profile of Gluten-Free School Snacks

Amaya Oyarzún1, Talya Nakash1, Jimena Ayala1, Yalda Lucero2 and Magdalena Araya1,

1Human Nutrition, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

2Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Pub. Date: June 25, 2015

Cite this paper:
Amaya Oyarzún, Talya Nakash, Jimena Ayala, Yalda Lucero and Magdalena Araya. Following Gluten Free Diet: Less Available, Higher Cost and Poor Nutritional Profile of Gluten-Free School Snacks. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2015; 3(3):102-107. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-3-3-3


Background. Celiac disease has a high prevalence globally and to date the only effective treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. Diet compliance is difficult due to current unhealthy eating habits and increasing overweight/obesity, especially for school age children. Objectives. To assess availability, cost and nutritional adequacy of gluten-free school snacks. Methods. Five store categories (large, regular-size and wholesale supermarkets, health food stores and corner shops) were assessed in districts representing low, middle and high socioeconomic levels. Three categories of school snacks were surveyed: dairy products (milk boxes, yogurts), cereals (in bulk, cereal bars) and baked goods (various cookies). Portions and prices were standardized and the closest gluten-containing products were matched for comparison. Availability, cost and nutritional quality (total calories, total fat, carbohydrates and sodium) were then evaluated. Results. A total of 1562 products were assessed. Gluten-free products were less available, with significant differences among the socioeconomic levels for cereals and baked goods (P<0.05). Also, they were more expensive than gluten-containing products. Except for cereal calories and sodium in the upper socioeconomic level, less than one third of the products available met FAO/WHO recommendations. Products meeting all 4 characteristics (total calories, total fat, carbohydrates and sodium) analyzed were 7.8%, 7.3% and 7.3% in the upper, middle and low socioeconomic level, respectively. Conclusions. Gluten-free dairy products, cereals and baked snacks available as snacks for school-age celiac children are fewer, with less variety and more expensive than gluten containing counterparts; the majority of them not meeting current nutritional recommendations.

celiac disease nutritional adequacy availability cost gluten-free school snacks

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