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Survey says Canadians attribute improved health to gluten-free diets


September 12, 2013
By Bakers Journal

Sept. 12, 2013, Toronto – Eighty-one per cent of consumers who reduced or eliminated gluten from their diets said that they felt healthier, happier and more energetic, according to a new national survey.

According to the The Canadian Attitudes to Gluten-Free study, these consumers also spend more time exercising and cooking at home with their children, and report a healthier body weight.

Furthermore, it estimates that about 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) have gone gluten-free, or have reduced gluten in their diets. Udi’s Healthy Foods commissioned the study, which surveyed 2, 530 randomly selected Canadian adults.
It revealed that British Columbians are most likely to have made the switch (17 per cent), followed by those in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta (12 per cent in each province).

The national survey suggests more Canadians are in the process of adopting the lifestyle, with nearly 11 per cent of British Columbians confirming they have tried a gluten-free or reduced gluten diet in the past six months. Of respondents who have gone gluten-free or reduced, nearly half said they did it to feel better, not because of a medical diagnosis.

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Twenty-one per cent of those who made the switch point to gluten intolerance as the reason, and 15 per cent have eliminated or reduced gluten to support a family member. The most commonly reported health benefits identified by respondents who reduce gluten include improved gastrointestinal health (52 per cent), healthier weight (36 per cent), improved activity levels (32 per cent) and a better mood (31 per cent).

When it comes to sticking to a gluten-free diet, bread is the most commonly reported challenge. In the baked goods category, 79 per cent of Canadians say bread is very or moderately important in their family's diet. And nearly one in four (24 per cent) of Canadians who are gluten-free or gluten-reduced say they cheat with bread.