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Violato, M., Gray, A., Papanicolas, I., & Ouellet, M. “Resource use and costs associated with coeliac disease before and after diagnosis in 3,646 cases: results of a UK primary care database analysis.” PLoS One, 7(7), e41308, 2012.

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Article

High Cost of Gluten Free Products Might be Challenging for People with Celiac Disease in the United Arab Emirates

1Department of Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2018, Vol. 6 No. 2, 37-41
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-6-2-2
Copyright © 2018 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Amal Abdulla, Malin Garemo. High Cost of Gluten Free Products Might be Challenging for People with Celiac Disease in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2018; 6(2):37-41. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-6-2-2.

Correspondence to: Malin  Garemo, Department of Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Email: malin.garemo@zu.ac.ae

Abstract

Celiac Disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten. The only effective treatment available at present is to follow a strict lifelong gluten free (GF) diet, resulting in the need to buy products that are certified gluten free. The aim of this study was to compare the cost of gluten free products in supermarkets with similar regular non-gluten free products. The price and weight of all GF products available in the GF section in two supermarkets in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, were collected in fall 2017. The GF items were divided into 13 categories (bread, bread mixes, flour, cakes, cake/biscuits mixes, chips, cereals, pasta, chocolates/sweet, crackers/ biscuits, sweet biscuits, seeds, odd products) and the same information was collected for similar regular products. A total of 266 GF products were found and their price/100 gram compared to 117 non-GF products. Most GF products were significantly more expensive than their non-GF equivalents. On average, the price difference was an additional 259% for the GF products, ranging from an additional 5% for chocolates to 1100% for bread mixes. There were no significant price differences found between the supermarkets. Based on the findings in this study, GF products are expensive in comparison to regular products, which is likely leading to an increase in food spending for people with celiac disease in Abu Dhabi. Whether this is impacting adherence to a GF diet among celiac patients requires further studies to be determined.

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