I guess I disagree with most people’s assessment of the ‘Jimmy Kimmel What is Gluten’ video. We need to be talking about gluten, let’s open the conversation. It’s apparent, as Mr. Kimmel pointed out in the video, that many outside the circle of celiac are unfamiliar with the disease or why they are even gluten free.
Yes, he said a couple stupid things, but, I think the ‘big picture’ issue pointed out here is that so many have no idea what the heck GLUTEN is. It is a lot harder to educate people when they have no idea why they need to be educated in the first place.
This is celiac awareness month and what better way to bring more attention to celiac awareness then Kimmel bringing it up in his bit?! (add backlash here) I like seeing gluten in the headlines, we need to see more gluten in the headlines. With only 15% of people being diagnosed, over 60% of that 15 are women. I think those numbers of diagnosis should be and can be higher, if we can bring our message to a larger audience.
My friend Jeanne texted me this morning and said:
No joke. My mother just told me her friend (in her 70s & barely leaves her house due to IBS issues), told her last night that she saw Jimmy Kimmel talking about gluten and wondered, with all the talk about it, maybe it would help her. No freaking joke!
Isn’t this why we have Celiac Awareness Month? To find people like this 70 year old woman sitting in her chair, watching late night television, who rarely uses computers; happening to hear about gluten in a bit Jimmy Kimmel is doing. How many other people might have been sitting there watching that thinking, hmm, I wonder… And I know when I wonder about something I’ll ask someone or jump on google.
So, lets jump on Google and see what we see when we type in, What is Gluten?
The first is a basic definition, the second is from LiveScience, which gives a pretty sad explanation and third, you have LA Times reporting on the “Kimmel video’. After that, you have slew of great information about, what gluten is. I bet those people interviewed on the video went home and did a little more research; hopefully now they’ll be able to pass on GF information with a bit more authority.
Jokes are jokes, they aren’t always funny; they can be disrespectful, racist, and downright mean. But it is also about the intent and the intent here wasn’t to offend. Like on Saturday Night Live when they imitate someone; we laugh, think its funny, but it also rarely relates to us directly.
The more people I go out and talk to or meet at health fairs, on the street; they really don’t know much about gluten or that it can make people sick. They’ve heard about gluten free, read somewhere it might be healthier, most though, haven’t heard of Celiac Disease. Puts being in that 3% population range into perspective. Even more perspective is, there are 2 million CD people out of 314 million people and gluten free companies made 10.5 billion last year.
According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, “The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease.” 5 years seems like a really long time if you’re sick, suffering, and undiagnosed; thank god I’m part of that 15% already.
A fellow twitterer wrote, “Any negative press can be dangerous. People remember the joke, not the danger.” The problem with that is, people aren’t aware of the danger. We do, the 15%, because we live with it everyday and we all have our individual, crazy stories. But that still leaves 75% going through the hell we all went through for so long. I think this was great press and the benefits here far outweigh the negatives.
Change starts one person at a time.
SOURCEShttp://www.livescience.com/39726-what-is-gluten.html http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-gluten-kimmel-20140508-story.html http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2013/12/31/us-population-2014-317-million-and-71-billion-in-the-world http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/faqs/f/HowCommon.htm http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/business/food-industry-wagers-big-on-gluten-free.html?_r=0 http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/