A Lifestyle Choice



While trivialisation of any chronic disease is undoubtedly very serious, Ita O’Kelly should not ignore what coeliacs stand to gain from the increased numbers of people who choose to follow a gluten-free diet.

Marks & Spencer’s extensive gluten-free range that she refers to with joy and awe is probably only viable because of the “lifestyle coeliacs” who have elected to join ranks with coeliacs in following a gluten-free diet. If demand remains high from those “attention-seeking health zealots”, she will not be forced to rely on a mere cappuccino for sustenance.

If gluten-free diets are not shamed into non-existence, her long-coveted, palatable gluten-free bread will be created sooner.

Áine McCabe,
Co Wicklow.


Lifestyle coeliacs (Irish Times letters page)

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30 thoughts on “A Lifestyle Choice

  1. Robert

    I don’t get what all the Coeliac hate is lately .. probably the lovin’ Dublin lobby of restaurant advertisers and other food industries responding to the ‘inconvenience’ of having to cater to people with dietary requirements. The fact is Coeliac’s is a serious disease (you can even die from it) which has a higher prevalence in Ireland due to genetic heritage, that due to our up-until-recent status as a “poor nation” has gone largely undiagnosed. So all of a sudden there is rightly an interest in it, and yes you do have a lot of people misidentifying as Coeliac perhaps because they have other gastric issues due to gluten intolerance (which is something different) or other wheat intolerance, or even “just” for lifestyle reasons, which, given the poor quality of a lot of bread we get these days makes some sense. Even just the calories. There’s too much of this b0ll1x going around where businesses rather than listen to their customers and give them what they want, and run their business like a business, are trying to employ PR-like tactics to shape their customer-base to what suits them.

    1. Robert

      There’s a lot of these moany-hole click-bait “lifestyle” pieces lately … “paper of record” me hole

  2. Clampers Outside!

    ” …..nausea inducing chocolate brownies have haunted me everywhere.” says Ita

    Maybe she put too much hash in them and got freaked out?

    I jest.. I’m with Ita !

    I’ve also seen this pompous nonsense…. “I have watched in restaurants as young women loudly cross-examine the waiter about food ingredients and insist on menu changes to suit their chosen GF dietary requirements, only to devour the gluten-laden dessert, because they can.” ie gimps who’ll be onto the next fad any minute.

    1. Robert

      So hang on – the restaurant gave them a gluten laden desert knowing that they had previously said they were “coeliac”? Ehhh law suit!. Gimps indeed.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Eh, no. I think what was meant was that they were all fussy about gluten-free starters and main courses but were happy to lash into gf desserts because they’re not actually coeliac.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    I have a relative and a friend with Coeliac disease and while they welcome the broadening range of gluten free foods in supermarkets, eating out is still a lottery because the faddists on their gluten free lifestyle kick getting picky with menus mean those with a genuine gluten intolerance aren’t taken seriously and can end up being fobbed off with something that makes them sick for days afterwards.

    1. Robert

      Kind of like arguing that some cyclists are reckless therefore no motorist should ever take mind of them, or something

    1. Gorev Mahagut

      I grew up coeliac and it has taught me a lot about people’s attitudes to food and the social conventions around eating.

      I realised that when you go to someone’s house and they ask you would you like tea and a biscuit, it isn’t really a question. It’s an order. You have to prove how grateful you are for the hospitality offered by eating the tea and biscuit. Refusal, no matter what the pretext, is considered hostile and offensive.

      (I suspect this is a modern survival of medieval hospitality rules, where kings demonstrated their lordship by distributing gifts to their followers, and where accepting a gift indicated accepting the lordship of the king).

      Despite my coeliac condition, refusal to eat the offered digestive biscuit was met with bitter consternation. An alternative food had to be provided, which I was forced to eat. I spent my childhood consuming an unhealthy quantity of apples just to appease the livid passive-aggressive fury of people who had been forced outside the social norms they were familiar with.

      Food is social. That makes it political. Some transgress social norms with restrictive food practices as a way of asserting their own agency. Some attempt to police the consumption habits of others as a way bringing order to an otherwise chaotic world.

      All this hullabaloo about lifestyle coeliacs and exasperated restaurant-owners is nothing new. People are weird about food.

      1. ivan

        That’s so true. Same with me, I was in a house only last week and the looks I got for not horsing into the mint Viscounts, Penguins or digestives…I mean, i’m only 4 years diagnosed, so i know what I’m missing, and sure I’d eat the lot in a hearbeat except I can’t.

        the far greater pain in the hoop, and to which you allude, is trying to convince people that when you say ‘it’s fine, really’ that you mean it. I’d much rather sit and talk or whatever rather than have somebody fúster in the kitchen trying to find a ruddy banana or something,..

  4. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    The vegans are hilarious when you wind them up.
    -Apart from that, naaahhh...pass…

    And d’ya know what?
    – There’s only two things that taste like fish. One of them is fish…

  5. Increasing Displacement

    The less grains I eat, the better I feel.
    Applies to dairy too but I just can’t lay off the cheese.

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