Public awareness, knowledge and sensitivity towards celiac disease and gluten-free diet is insufficient: a survey from Turkey


Food Sci. Technol




Abstract One of the most challenging aspects of celiac disease management is lack of awareness in public. Aim of the study was to evaluate public awareness and sensitivity on celiac disease and gluten-free diet. 501 individuals in Manisa, Turkey were subjected to a survey to obtain information on demographics, awareness of celiac disease, celiac and gluten-free diet relationship, effect on social life quality and social awareness and sensitivity. Results were analyzed by chi-square test. 43.9% of the public had never heard of celiac disease before. Females were more aware of the disease and gluten-free diet dependency. Majority of the postgraduates (79.6%) recognized the disease. 44.9% of the respondents remarked that celiac patients had hesitations on dining out, while 32.3% found those people restricted for travel and holiday activities. Above one-third of subjects indicated that gluten-free product variety in the market was inadequate. However, more than half had no idea on these. Over 50% felt that, social awareness and sensitivity towards disease was unsatisfactory. This study was conducted to mirror the society’s approach towards celiac patients. It was demonstrated that public’s awareness and sensitivity about celiac disease was scarce. Knowledge of ‘celiac’ needs to be raised.

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