This is how children with celiac disease presented prior to the discovery of gluten as the culprit

This is how children with celiac disease presented prior to the discovery of gluten as the culprit

To all companies and advertisement agencies planning to poke fun at people on a gluten-free diet during your Super Bowl ads: Take a very hard look at this photograph*. It is of a 2 year old child with celiac disease diagnosed BEFORE the discovery that gluten was the causative agent in this disease. Do you know what happened to these children? Many of them died. A gluten-free diet is a medical necessity for children and adults with celiac disease. It is the ONLY treatment for this disease.

*Photo of my personal copy of the article “The Value of the Banana in the Treatment of Celiac Disease” by Dr. Sidney Haas. Published in 1924 in the American Journal of Diseases of Children.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the dietary treatment for celiac disease, see the following articles:

Early Dietary Treatment for Celiac Disease: The Banana Diet

The Gluten-Free Diet is Born: Thank You Dr. Dicke

Remembering the Children, especially Mechie


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Comments (11)

  • Lindy Redmond Reply

    Thank you for being our advocate. As a former “banana baby” and one who the doctor told my parents I had two weeks to live, I appreciate all your support in the area of celiac disease.
    Bless you

    January 23, 2018 at 12:41 pm
  • Melody Hooper Reply

    Thank you, Tricia. We appreciate your efforts in fighting misinformation and just plain meanness.

    January 23, 2018 at 6:06 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      You are most welcome, Melody. I so wish the meanness would just stop. I would love to have a chat with the “brains” behind this ad and find out exactly what they were thinking.

      January 23, 2018 at 7:26 pm
      • Dee Dee Reply

        Hi Tricia, the ad agency responsible is Hill Holliday. Perhaps you can share this to them via twitter or facebook – though the last time I looked I could no less neā€™er access the visitors post page. Education is definitely needed

        January 24, 2018 at 8:19 am
        • Tricia Thompson Reply

          I emailed them asking for a face-to-face meeting at their Boston location. They haven’t responded.

          January 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm
  • Dee Reply

    Those of us with known Celiac are so fortunate to know that we have it and can live a fuller life.

    The ignorance of many people is mind blowing and cruel, I too wish I knew the “brains” behind the ads; I have had many wonderful educational moments for folks who think they are funny or just ignorant. It takes a great deal of patience!

    Thank you Trisha for being an advocate for us all šŸ™‚

    January 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm
  • Marilyn Revoir Reply


    Thank you so much for all you do to help us detect hidden sources of gluten so that we can support our health.

    It can be very challenging when items labeled Gluten Free are not truly gluten free.


    January 25, 2018 at 4:08 pm
  • Glenda Thompson Reply

    I believe I was born with celiac based on my inability to thrive. The doctor told my parents that I would die if I could not eat. A elderly woman started feeding me liquid egg yolks mixed with butter until I could begin to eat other food. I was not diagnosed with celiac until I was 60 years old. I was chronically anemic and was diagnosed with osteoporosis at 38.
    If you have a child labeled failure to thrive or chronic GI problems, I implore you to get her/him checked for celiac. It could make a huge difference in their life.

    March 21, 2024 at 3:22 pm

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