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. 2018 Oct 4;10(10):1424.
doi: 10.3390/nu10101424.

Adherence to Gluten-Free Diet in Children With Celiac Disease

Free PMC article

Adherence to Gluten-Free Diet in Children With Celiac Disease

Grażyna Czaja-Bulsa et al. Nutrients. .
Free PMC article


Celiac disease (CD) can only be treated by rigorous life-long gluten-free diet (GFD). The study included 102 mothers and their CD children treated with GFD for at least two years. Frequency and cause of diet failure in children treated at present (54 children) and 10 years ago (48 children) were compared. Dietary adherence was evaluated serologically (tTG), while diet management difficulties were examined by means of a questionnaire. The study shows that one-third of patients fail to follow GFD, more often 10 years ago than now (40% vs. 26%; p < 0.05), mainly children aged 13⁻18 (54% vs. 40% now; p < 0.05). Younger children (up to 12) are less likely to abandon the diet (27% vs. 8%; p < 0.05). In this age group non-intentional diet failure prevails, while teenagers interrupt their diet intentionally (45% vs. 33%; p = ns (small population of children in this groups)). Currently, the most common causes of teenage diet failure are the absence of symptoms after consuming a small amount of gluten and, even more often, troublesome diet administration. Previously, the absence of peer acceptance prevailed. With this study we found that: 1. In West Pomerania, every fourth CD child does not follow GFD. 2. For years, teenagers have failed to follow GFD due to the absence of symptoms after consuming small amounts of gluten. 3. The incidence of non-intentional failure to follow GFD has significantly decreased over years, which indicates better dietary care.

Keywords: celiac disease; children; gluten-free diet; teenagers.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Proportion of children failing to adhere to gluten-free diet (GFD) by age and time of study.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Incidence to intentional and non-intentional failure to adhere to gluten-free diet (GFD). * GFD—gluten-free diet.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Reasons for non-adherence to gluten-free diet (GFD) by age. * GFD—gluten free diet.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Reasons for GFD non-adherence by time of study. * GFD—gluten-free diet.

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