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Navigating the Gluten-free Diet in College

Panzer, Rebecca M.*; Dennis, Melinda; Kelly, Ciaran P.; Weir, Dascha; Leichtner, Alan§; Leffler, Daniel A.

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: December 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 740–744
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182653c85
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ABSTRACT Factors that affect adherence to the gluten-free diet (GFD) are reported in children and adults; however, there is little data regarding young adults. The objective of the present study is to explore adherence challenges experienced by young adults in college. Responses from the online survey (N = 50), interview (N = 21), and focus group (N = 7) indicate students were motivated to adhere but experience challenges related to dining services and social situations. Dining services from 6 colleges reported a variety of accommodations for students with celiac disease, but request increased student involvement. Tools and strategies that facilitate communication between students and dining services may improve adherence.

*Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Celiac Center

Children's Hospital Boston, Center for Celiac Disease

§Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Rebecca M. Panzer, MA, RD, Celiac Disease Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, East Campus, Dana 601, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail:

Received 14 December, 2011

Accepted 18 June, 2012

D.A.L. is funded by NIH Grant DK1042103881.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2012 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN