Extreme hunger is a severe problem for society as a whole. Food instability can be especially harmful to people with celiac disease (CeD) since it threatens the gluten-free diet (GFD) that is the foundation of their treatment. The study’s objectives were to describe the extent to which food insecurity affects CeD patients and assess its effect on GFD uptake and overall dietary health. 

Patients diagnosed with CeD who took part in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2009 and 2014 were the focus of this analysis. The USDA’s 18-item Standard Food Security Survey Module was used to establish criteria for food insecurity. Food insecurity was found to have a negative effect on GFD adoption, and the variations in demographic characteristics of CeD patients who were food insecure were evaluated using survey-weighted logistic regression. A multivariable survey-weighted linear regression model was utilized to assess how food insecurity influences dietary consumption of macro- and micronutrients.

Patients diagnosed with CeD in the United States had an overall food insecurity rate of 15.9% (95% CI: 10.6%, 23.1%) [weighted N=2.9 million (95% CI: 2.2, 3.5 million)]. Patients with CeD who experienced food insecurity were substantially less likely to adopt a GFD (24.1% vs. 67.9%, P=0.02), and they also tended to be younger, less educated, non-white, and lower-income. Protein, carbs, fat, and the vast majority of vitamins and minerals were all much less consumed by people who experienced food insecurity. Food insecurity affects 1 in 6 people with CeD, which has a poor effect on following the GFD and getting enough of most micronutrients. Only about a quarter of people with CeD who are food insecure follow a GFD.

Source: journals.lww.com/jcge/Abstract/2022/11000/Food_Insecurity_Negatively_Impacts_Gluten.8.aspx