Home > Articles > Allergies > Coeliac UK launches its Gluten-free Challenge 2011

Coeliac UK launches its Gluten-free Challenge 2011


29th November 2010, 4:19pm

Coeliac UK is urging the public to take part in the Gluten-free Challenge for one week in May 2011.

The challenge takes place from 16-22nd May 2011 and Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, is encouraging the nation to take up the Gluten-free Challenge and to shop, cook or eat out completely gluten-free, or even do all three.

There are a range of activities that people can get involved with including:

  • Get your office to go gluten-free for work lunches or the office biscuits
  • Invite friends to take part in Come Dine gluten-free, taking it in turns to shop for gluten-free ingredients and cook gluten-free meals throughout the week
  • Go out for dinner with friends and all order gluten-free options to make sure that eating establishments know about the demand for gluten-free food
  • Schools can hold a gluten-free cake stall or cook a gluten-free recipe in food technology classes
  • Talk to your local restaurant and ask them to take up the challenge by displaying information and providing gluten-free options on their menu
  • When you're out shopping, check the back of packets to see how many items include gluten and choose the gluten-free options 
  • Get sponsored for the week if you're taking on the challenge.

Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: "Many people may have struggled for years to get diagnosed with coeliac disease and are then faced with a complete change in diet and lifestyle.  Eating gluten-free could be easy.  Many everyday foods in the shops or dishes in restaurants can be gluten-free with some simple recipe changes. 

"Maintaining a varied and healthy lifestyle would be so much easier for people with coeliac disease if they could quickly and easily see what dishes and products are right for them.  Better choice for people with coeliac disease means making simple changes to recipes and letting consumers know that their products will help them maintain their gluten-free diet."

The contest is part of a new campaign from the charity to raise awareness of the daily frustrations encountered by the 1 in 100 people in the UK who have coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerence to gluten. There is no cure and no medication and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. Left untreated it can lead to infertility, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.

Coeliac UK will be launching a dedicated area for the challenge on their website www.coeliac.org.uk which will include recipes and cooking tips, information on gluten-free products and what to look out for when shopping. They will also be encouraging people to sign up and pledge they are going to take on the gluten-free challenge.