NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams reported on August 2 that going gluten free probably “isn’t worth it”.

In the televised report, NBC’s chief “medical reporter” Nancy Snyderman stated that “going gluten free has become a fad” that makes grocers in the US over $4 Billion per year!

She goes on to blast a “health conscience Yoga instructor” who stated she doesn’t have Celiac disease but feels much better without gluten in her life by next playing a distorted, out of context clip of Suzanne Simpson of the Columbia University Celiac Disease Center saying “… they’re not likely to lose weight … the [gluten free] foods are higher in calories …]” while showing pictures of cookies!

Nancy then goes on to say you need to “separate the hype from the truth”

What’s this all about?? Why would a news outlet twist the words of an adored leading Celiac doctor and a cute Yoga Instructor?


  1. Kirsten says

    “Doctor” Nancy Snyderman is a media whore. She actively and unscrupulously promotes a truly outdated and harmful fad, infant male circumcision, and then pooh-poohs the genuine problem of gluten sensitivity. Keep in mind that NBC is partly owned by GE; their primary objective is promoting war and creating a market for the military-industrial complex.

  2. Jennifer says

    I hope people don’t listen to the media. They don’t know squat about what is best for you. You are the only person that knows what is best for your own health and well being. As a parent of a child with special dietary needs. (Her life depends on it.) I understand what folks in the Celiac community are going through. We in the food allergy community are going through the same thing. I say let’s support one another on educating the world around us. Thanks Jay for bringing this to our attention.

  3. RNoexcuses says

    This sends me over the edge. Just once, can’t they have someone on that truly understands the medical need and prescription for a gluten-free diet. If the reporting people (including physicians) had celiac or gluten sensitivity or a friend/family with, these stories might not make it to press.

    I say, put one of them on a strict gluten-free diet and let that person see it is “worth it” but not as a fad or for weight loss.

    I recently saw a news story that said the majority of people who purchase gluten-free specialty foods from specialty stores/online, have neither celiac, gluten sensitivity or an inflammatory disease. Thought that was of interest.

  4. Sarah says

    I am not sure what all the commotion is about this news article – I agree with Lezlie above that I think it is a “teaser” to get people talking about the subject. Celiac disease, non-celiac enteropathy, and wheat allergy has always existed. All of this is more visible because medicine has advanced AND so much of our food is so very highly processed, and there is just too much ‘stuff’ in the processed food. It isn’t healthy for anyone. And, we definitely have a weight issue in this country. So instead of just taking control of our own actions and getting back to basics, some have turned ‘gluten-free’ into the cure-all for what ails the population. Sorry, but I believe that THOSE people are following a fad diet, and also an elitist diet. The food mega corporations wouldn’t be producing this stuff if there wasn’t a market for it – they do not care if it is healthy or not, they just want to make money and they will tout anything that makes them money. In my opinion, my soapbox, if we disposed of about 90 percent of the manufactured ‘foods’ we would all be a whole lot healthier.

  5. A says

    WOW – education is such a wise tool. First off Gluten Free is a lifestyle and not a “diet”. Next, I don’t know of anyONE who eats gluten free so they can lose weight. It’s most defiantly a choice to benefit everyday living and survive.

  6. Lisa DeZolt says

    I think the media needs to get there facts straight about the large percent of people who “need” to eat gluten free as I do and so many others who have Celiac Disease. It is a necessity, not a choice… It is a life long diet for the health of people …people with Celiac Disease not only feel miserable when eating gluten but also can develop cancer from eating gluten. Misinformation occurs when you have the news media putting their personal opinions where they don’t belong instead of reporting on true facts. I for one don’t enjoy paying considerably higher prices for gluten free foods, but the overall healthy feeling is worth the price…if the news media wanted to do something to really help the people who had to eat gluten free, maybe they could do a news report on how to go about making gluten free foods cheaper so people like me didn’t have to spend over half their paychecks on food that they can eat…of course this is only my opinion,..which newscasters always seem to have when they report the news…..the American public doesn’t want to hear the opinions of the people giving the news, we want them to report the truth…enough said!

  7. Margherita says

    Brian, I am one of your biggest fans, but you are WRONG on this one. Please stop taking everything “Dr Nancy Snyderman” says as gospel. She knows a lot, but she has the typical western medicine view. We can learn so much from the principles of Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, herbology, and homeopathy. “Let food be thy medicine . . . , ” as Hippocrates stated so long ago. For those experiencing chronic or acute illness, a change in diet can often help turn things around. These folks might respond better to their medical protocol or be able to switch to holistic treatments if they eat mostly foods that are best for them because NO ONE can eat every food! For example, some people do much better by eliminating wheat. Others do best eliminating corn or all grains. Still others feel better eating vegan, while many (Type O’s for example) must have animal protein for function best. PLEASE stop publicizing the one-shoe-fits-all formula for diet. Each person is unique. And get well soon from your knee surgery! :-)

  8. Mia says

    Eating gluten free is not synonymous to eating low calorie but one can eat low calorie and gluten free. I hope the media will go a step further and explain what Celiac disease is; the public needs to be educated on the symptoms and how to start a dialogue with ones doctor. Nancy Schneider would have done better to focus on those issues rather than slighting the GF food industry. I for one am thankful that more and more food companies are offering GF products which also means that the prices are coming down. Example: Mueller’s is now marketing GF pasta at about half the price of other companies. I hope the prices of more GF products come down- Note: Red Apple lipstick is a bargain price, thank you, Jay

  9. Celeste K. says

    I’m not sure what the silly news story skewing facts has to do with being “left”…? (As depicted in the cartoon).

  10. Claudia says

    I really wish that the news media would report on Celiac disease and going on a strict gluten free diet and the benefits for people with the disease. Going gluten free does not mean eating lots of cookies and cakes. It means NOT eating gluten. That means lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, chia etc. Lean protein also. Then one can see some weight loss. Celebrities touting the diet as weight loss also do not help our cause. Get it right please and keep it right!

  11. Lezlie says

    I just watched the report online, as I missed it the night it aired. In my opinion, it’s really just a “teaser” to get people talking about the issue. I do agree that there are some people using the GF diet as a fad to lose weight, but I believe there are also people who are gluten intolerant. These individuals may have tested negative for Celiac Disease, but still feel better when they cut gluten out of their diet. The good news about increased global awareness on this topic is that more people are taking notice and more manufacturers are making products that are safe for us. However, it is important that I, as an individual with Celiac Disease, continue to be an informed consumer, keeping my antennas at full extension to detect even the slightest bit of cross contamination, just as I have since the day I was diagnosed.

  12. Ashley Teague says

    It’s crazy! However it’s definitely not the first or last time the news will take people’s words out of context. About a year ago; after feeling awful for years I finally got tired of feeling like crap and went to the doctor and said I wanted to be tested for food allergies. The doctor called me and told me I had Celiac and sent me to a GI to confirm. The GI told me to go on a high gluten diet. I ate foods containing gluten (and other awful ingredients I’m sure!) for every meal for quit some time. I went back to the GI for an endoscopy feeling worse than I had ever felt before. The GI then told me that I don’t have Celiac just really bad acid reflux. After all that…acid reflux! Then I went to a Naturopathic doctor who did her own set of tests and found out I have other allergies (dairy, yeast, mushrooms…and others). You look at things that contain gluten and it’s pretty much foods that are highly processed, high in bad carbs, and sugars. In my opinion it’s not good for anyone! It’s not to say that I think all gluten free alternatives are much better for you (still highly processed) however I would eat my Ener-g Gluten free, dairy free, yeast free bread any day over the alternative! I don’t think there is anything wrong with having an unhealthy treat now and again. For myself personally I choose to eat mostly fruits and veggies because as long as it’s non-gmo I know it’s pretty much safe to eat.

    • Sarah says

      Just because you are not Celiac, does not mean that you do not have some other gluten enteropathy. These can be either something you were born with, or even something that you acquired along the way. Some illnesses and medication have this as a side effect. That GI appears to have been a bit shortsighted.

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