Nutritional Management of the Gluten-free Diet in Young People with Celiac Disease in The Netherlands

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Background:For young people with celiac disease, adherence to the gluten-free diet may be difficult to achieve and gluten restriction may lead to insufficient nutrient intake and unbalanced food intake resulting in overweight. In The Netherlands, no nutritional information is available. Therefore, we evaluated the nutritional management and nutritional state in young celiac patients.Methods:The Dutch Celiac Society invited all its members aged 12 to 25 years to complete a food record and a questionnaire. Nutrient intakes were compared with the recommendations and the intake in the general population. Total immunoglobin A, endomysial antibody, tissue transglutaminase and IgA gliadin were determined, and height and weight were assessed.Results:Strict dietary compliance was reported by 75%. The fiber and iron intakes were significantly lower, and the saturated fat intake significantly higher than recommended but comparable with the general population. Most of the patients (61%) found the diet easy to follow. Regular medical controls were reported by 86% but regular dietary controls by only 7% of the patients. Mean and SD scores for height and body mass index were −0.3 ± 1.1 and −0.3 ± 0.8, respectively.Conclusions:The dietary compliance in this group is high, the nutritional state is adequate, but the nutrient intake is not. Better medical and dietary support is necessary to prevent long-term complications and to achieve an ongoing satisfying management in this group of young patients with a chronic disorder.

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