Tuesday, March 06, 2007


CNN Newsroom spent just over four minutes covering celiac disease on Monday morning, March 5, 2007. The video is already online at the website of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). You can find the transcript about halfway down this page.

The segment, hosted by CNN anchor and NFCA spokesperson Heidi Collins basically consisted of two subsections plus newsroom banter.

The first subsection, presented by CNN's medical correespondent Judy Fortin, covered Virginia Brookhart and the effect of celiac disease on her family, with medical commentary from Dr. Cynthia Rudert. Some of the outstanding points: Celiac disease is a common ailment that is very commonly misdiagnosed or undiagnosed; it can be mistaken for other conditioons (such as spastic colon and Irritable Bowel Syndrome); the condition runs through families, so it is not unusual for more than one family member to have it; treatment with the gluten-free diet often yields very good results.

The second subsection covered Friday's NFCA Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, with footage of competing chefs Carrie Levin, Ralph Pagano, and Jehangir Mehta. [NOTE: My original post incorrectly stated that Pagano was the winner; the winner was actually Brett Reichler.]

Collins seemed very happy with the event. An interesting aspect of the newsroom banter was how it touched on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet being unfamiliar to many people, including those in the food industry. Food for thought: There was more than one reference to "gluten-free" not being an especially "delicious-sounding" label for foods.

For more coverage of the NFCA Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, click here and check out Gluten Free Guide and Gluten-Free Fun.

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