Nutrient intake in adolescent girls and boys diagnosed with coeliac disease at an early age is mostly comparable to their non-coeliac contemporaries

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014 Feb;27(1):41-53. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12125. Epub 2013 May 24.


Background: Food habits, nutrient needs and intakes differ between males and females, although few nutritional studies on patients with coeliac disease (CD) have reported results stratified by gender.

Objectives: To compare energy and nutrient intakes among 13-year olds diagnosed with CD in early childhood with those of a non-coeliac (NC) age- and gender-matched control group, and also with estimated average requirements (EAR).

Methods: A case-control study was conducted in Sweden 2006-2007 within the coeliac screening study ETICS (Exploring The Iceberg of Coeliacs in Sweden). Dietary intake was assessed among 37 adolescents (23 girls) diagnosed with CD at median age 1.7 years (CD group) and 805 (430 girls) NC controls (NC group) using a food-frequency questionnaire covering 4 weeks. Reported energy intake was validated by comparison with the calculated physical activity level (PAL).

Results: Regardless of CD status, most adolescents reported an intake above EAR for most nutrients. However, both groups had a low intake of vitamin C, with 13% in the CD-group and 25% in the NC-group below EAR, and 21% of boys in the CD-group below EAR for thiamine. The intake of fatty acids was unbalanced, with a high intake of saturated and a low intake of unsaturated fats. Girls and boys in the CD-group had an overall lower nutrient density in reported food intake compared to girls and boys in the NC-group.

Conclusions: Nutrient intake of adolescent girls and boys with CD was mostly comparable to intakes of NC controls. Dietitians should take the opportunity to reinforce a generally healthy diet when providing information about the gluten-free diet.

Keywords: adolescents; coeliac disease; dietary assessment; gluten-free diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Records
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sweden


  • Micronutrients