Is There Evidence to Support the Claim that a Gluten-Free Diet Should Be Used for Weight Loss?

Journal of the American Dietetic Association

It seems to be the latest rage, with many celebrities promoting the gluten-free lifestyle, a multitude of books being published, and countless numbers of articles appearing in the press about the supposed benefits of a gluten-free diet. Searching the Internet for information on “gluten-free diet and weight loss” returns over five million hits. Claims of the potential benefits of following a gluten-free diet include better sleep, increased energy, thinner thighs, faster weight loss, clearer skin, and improvement of medical conditions such as autism and rheumatoid arthritis. With this surge of media attention, the number of gluten-free products on the market is exploding. A recent report on gluten-free products in the United States (1) estimated the US market for gluten-free foods and beverages at 2.6 billion dollars in 2010, and by 2015 it is expected to exceed 5 billion dollars. In addition, the report reveals that the number one motivation for buying gluten-free food products is that they are considered healthier than their conventional counterparts.  As a registered dietitian, chances are you are seeing more and more patients trying to follow a gluten-free diet. But where is the research to back these claims? That’s where it gets tricky.  (Subscription Required)