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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Using Celiac Disease as an Excuse
Shame on you Reader's Digest.

Today on rd.com, there is an article called "New Ways to Just Say No to Dessert." The author suggested to her readers one way to avoid eating dessert at a dinner party would be to suggest you had Celiac Disease to your host. WHAT?!?!

Here is the exact text from the article:

What’s a diet devotee to do when breath mints, gum, polite refusal, cleaning products and excessive condiments fail? Echlin hints at this at the end of her column when she says that the best desserts should be eaten. Why attend a dinner party if you don’t plan on eating what’s served? That said, "a host will understand if the dieter has just had triple bypass surgery or is suffering from gestational diabetes." The final way fervent dieters haven't tried is a simple way to shut people up: Chalk it up to an allergy or condition. Gluten intolerance, Celiac disease, allergies, lactose intolerance and diabetes will get you out of eating just about any dessert.

I think this is a completely asinine way for anyone to use to avoid dessert. How about simply and politely saying "no thank you" to your host? How about saying "I'm stuffed from your delicious dinner?" I can think of a bunch of other ways to avoid dessert without blaming it on a DISEASE!

As someone with Celiac Disease for over 30 years, I have spent many meals both frustrated and embarrassed when it comes to having to explain why I cannot eat something because it has gluten. To even suggest using Celiac Disease or a gluten-intolerance as an excuse just pisses me off. If everyone out there starts claiming a gluten allergy or celiac disease, it will start being like the boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome and servers and hosts will roll their eyes about being picky eaters even more than they do to us right now.

What do you think, dear readers? Tell me in my comments section what you think about this suggestion. Also, don't be shy and tell RD.com what you think on their page as well. I made sure to let Reader's Digest know exactly how I feel about this suggestion in their comments section. I was not letting this pass me by without butting in with my two cents.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Kelly said...

I just read that and made a comment - unbelievable! Shocking, even. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Blogger Betsy said...

OMG...that's terrible! Blame it on a disease?! I agree with what you said about future encounters..or even earlier that evening. What if you just ate a pasta dinner, or had some bread rolls? Then passing up dessert because of "celiac disease" leads to misinformation for the host on how serious the disease really is.

Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous Kim said...

OMG!!! I was going to post exactly what Besty said....if you just ate food that contained gluten and then use Celiac as your excuse, it just confuses things. :(

Blogger Tasty Eats At Home said...

I agree. How about telling readers to grow up and say "No thank you." Besides the fact that it trivializes and confuses the whole food allergy/intolerance/medical issue, it's encouraging people to lie. How is that a good idea?

Anonymous LA said...

This infuriates me! I have spent years avoiding social events because I have Celiac and people give me a hard time about it, like I enjoy being difficult about food. Now suddenly it is "cool" to use Celiac as an excuse to say not to desserts?! Wow! That turns the condition into a total joke.

Did you just eat a basket full of bread with your dinner? Did you have gravy on your meat and potatoes? Now, you have to pass on dessert because of your newfangled condition. If so, you don't have Celiac, you have no understanding of the condition and are spreading false information which is detrimental to the true understanding of Celiac.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep...this pisses me off.

Blogger Cocoa said...

Shame on them! I agree, spreading confusion just makes it harder on us. Besides, it is just wrong to lie to your host.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Thanks for the info. I posted a comment under the article on readers digest's page and I'm going to ask other celiacs I know to do the same until that article is deleted!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article has been deleted! Thanks so much for letting us know so we could take action :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just attended a high school re-unioun dinner where the only safe food ...gluten free were the green beans... so if you are going to use celiac disease as an excuse for not eating dessert... remember to avoid the soy sauce, salad dressing, gravies, catsup, etc etc... as these can all be sources of hiddent gluten. :)

Anonymous pamela said...

Thank you for getting that article deleted! How dare RD even think of such a way for people to avoid dessert. My son is a Celiac and he is a teenager. Not easy going to parties when 95% of the "goodies" that are served are full of gluten. He has to eat BEFORE going to social events. It took many years (because of embarrassment), but now all of his friends are aware and provide him with G-F treats!
All of these above comments are right on!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always new there was a reason I didn't like Reader's Digest.

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