Target: The Today Show’s Executive Producer, Don Nash
Goal: Provide viewers with accurate information on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet and ask correspondents for a public apology for their ignorance.
Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet has recently gained public appeal as a social fad diet rather than a health concern. This misconception is due to the media’s portrayal of the diet and the “specialists” who misinform the public. What many do not realize is that a gluten free diet is the only way a person living with Celiac’s Disease can survive. The Today Show, a national news program on NBC, has committed this crime four times within the past year.
According to the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness, Celiac Disease “is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food… [which] is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye.” With more than 300 symptoms associated with the Disease, an individual’s symptoms may vary. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a life-long strict gluten free diet.
On the Today Show, Celiac Disease has been referred to as a hot new trendy disease and has criticized people who are gluten free as picky eaters and a turn off. People who have Celiac Disease are “picky” for their health. More than 20 parts per million of gluten can make a person with Celiac Disease sick preventing many from eating out of their homes and enjoying their date’s company. Even when “specialists” are brought on to the show, they have described Celiac Disease as “almost like an allergy to gluten” which is “easy to address.” Celiac Disease is more than just an allergy to gluten, it’s an autoimmune disease which affects a person’s livelihood.
After Hoda Kotb’s comments on how being gluten free is a “turn off,” she made a public apology — an apology to maintain positive fan appeal. As a whole, the gluten free community has been outraged by the misguided information and offensive commentary. It is the Today Show’s responsibility to give its national audience accurate information.
Sign the petition below to ask the Today Show to publicly apologize for their indiscretions and bring a true Celiac specialist to the show to inform the public about Celiac Disease.
Dear Don Nash (Executive Producer of TODAY),
After multiple insulting and misguided comments made toward the Gluten Free community within the last year it is time for the network to formally apologize for the ignorance of the correspondents and inform the public of the truth of Celiac Disease which forces many to become gluten free. Maintaining a strict gluten free diet, for many, is vital for an individual’s health. With 83% of Americans who have Celiac Disease undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions receiving misguided information that is driven by the idea that the diet is a trendy fad is unjust.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gluten Free Lexington