Friday, July 03, 2009

Media Round-Up

Or, A News Flurry in Early Summer

Mark Sanford? Michael Jackson?? Sarah Palin???

We know what's really important here.

Newsday's website recently posted the Harvard Health Letters article "Getting out the gluten" (June 30, 2009) —an excellent overview of celiac disease. My only quibble would be with the very end, which implies that some restaurant foods are inherently gluten-free; it's still better to check ingredients rather than assume that you know the recipes and cooking methods a chef uses.

CBS's Jonathan LaPook's "Breaking It Off With Your Doc" (July 2, 2009)
lists reasons to switch to a new physician. Number 8 ("Your doctor gets annoyed by questions.") uses celiac disease in its case study:
Not only are patients entitled to careful consideration of questions, those questions may provide doctors with important clues. "Why do I get a stomach ache every time I eat a slice of toast?" may lead to the diagnosis of celiac disease, a condition in which gluten - a component of wheat, rye, and barley - is toxic to the body. If a doctor doesn't immediately know the answer, a perfectly good response is, "I don't know but I'll research it and get back to you."

At The New York Times, Tara Parker-Pope picked up on the recent Mayo Clinic prevalence and mortality study and also fielded some of the comments.

Last but not least, Ilan Brat's The Wall Street Journal article "For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are Tricky to Make, Cheap to Market" (July 2, 2009) discusses how GM apparently limited its advertising budget for its new gluten-free Chex and Betty Crocker products by counting on gluten-free community buzz to spread the word. (Note to General Mills: It looks like the strategy worked with Chex, but the Betty Crocker products don't seem to be finding their way onto many supermarket shelves in NYC.)

Incidentally, "Atlanta Gluten-Free Food Examiner" Tiffany Janes was totally on top of the General Mills marketing angle in her post "General Mills calling all bloggers" (July 1, 2009). Nice going, TJ! And NY1 morning anchor Pat Kiernan showed impeccable good judgment in taking note of the Wall Street Journal article on the July 2, 2009 of "In the Papers." Pat, if you're reading this—and I know it's possible—please remember:
Celiac disease affects an estimated 1% of the United States population—that's about 3 million people—but an estimated 2.9 million of those people remain misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Furthermore, the average time it takes for a diagnosis is estimated to be about 10 years. That means that millions of people may be suffering the symptoms of celiac disease and searching for answers but not getting proper testing, diagnoses, and treatment, which would mainly consist of going on a strict gluten-free diet.

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