In light of the recent article by Huffington Post entitled “Famous and Gluten Free?” it seems like the perfect time to update my article on celebrities who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease to include those who are also gluten sensitive, wheat intolerant, or those who choose to eat gluten-free foods.
The term gluten free is being used in the media quite often. Sometimes it is use appropriately and other times the gluten-free diet is touted as a ‘fad diet’, ‘weight-loss diet’, ‘dangerous diet’, etc. Jeopardy recently used gluten free foods as a category.
It is also apparent that TV shows want to get in on the action and openly ‘mock’ the disease and perpetuate the ‘fad diet’ aspect. Gossip Girl, 2 Broke Girls, and Man Up are the recent offenders and it seems odd that writers feel it necessary to make a mockery of an autoimmune disease whose only treatment is a gluten-free diet.
Thankfully, on a recent episode of Royal Pains, A Farewell to Barnes, a character gets diagnosed with Celiac Disease and the TV show does a decent job noting the symptoms that lead to the diagnosis: nausea, stomach ache, hypocalcaemia, and Sjogren’s Syndrome. They define Celiac Disease as an intolerance to gluten, a protein that is in wheat, and a few other grains(wish they would have listed all of the grains). They go on to explain that silent Celiac presents atypically and can be brought on by stress. The part I like the most is that they say they are going to have a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and then they can get her a nutritionist and she will be OK when she is following a gluten-free diet.
The lists are broken down into five groups: Celebrities with Celiac Disease, Celebrities with gluten sensitivity/wheat intolerance, Celebrities who eat gluten free by choice, Athletes with Celiac Disease, and Athletes who eat gluten free by choice. These lists were compiled using multiple sources.
Celebrities with gluten sensitivity/wheat intolerance
- Bill Clinton
- Zooey Deschanel (Actress)
- Juliette Lewis
- Ian Somerhalder
- Terence Stamp
- Billy Bob Thornton
Celebrities with Celiac Disease
- Sarah Joy Brown (Actor)
- Meg Cabot (Author)
- Chelsea Clinton
- Heidi Collins (former CNN anchor)
- Scott Michael Foster (Actor)
- Jennifer Esposito (Actress)
- Susie Essman (Actress on Curb Your Enthusiasm)
- Rich Gannon’s (NFL Quarterback) daughter, Danielle
- Thom Hartmann (Air America Radio)
- Elizabeth Hasselbeck (“The View”)
- Katherine, Duchess of Kent
- Dean McDermott (Actor)
- Dannii Minogue (Younger sister to Kylie Minogue the singer)
- Keith Olbermann (Countdown with Keith Olbermann)
- Emmy Rossum (Actress)
- Joe Stanton (Cartoonist who draws Batman, Green Lantern, Archie & Scooby-Do)
- Jane Swift (former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor)
- Sarah Vowell
- Deborah Ann Woll (Actress)
Celebrities who eat gluten-free by choice
- Jenny McCarthy
- Jennifer Aniston
- Gwyneth Paltrow
Athletes with Celiac Disease/Gluten Sensitivity
- Amy Yoder Begley (Competed in Beijing Olympics as a runner)
- Cedric Benson (NFL)
- Drew Breese (NFL)
- Mickey Redmon (former pro hockey player)
- Jenn Suhr (Pole Vaulter)
- Hayley Turner (English Flat Racing Jockey)
- Venus Williams (to treat Sjorgren’s syndrome)
- Carrie Willoughby (Paralympic Swimmer)
Athletes who eat gluten free by choice
- Novak Djokovic (Tennis)
- Andy Murray (Tennis)
- Karl Alzner (Hockey)
- Jay Beagle (Hockey)
The gluten-free community doesn’t need any more negative attention, rather those who are striving (not suffering) while eating gluten free are in a position to help raise awareness, educate the medical community and ultimately decrease the average diagnosis time by sharing their story.
Hopefully these celebrities/athletes are properly informed about the gluten-free diet and they don’t use their celebrity to promote myths and/or misinformation. Just because someone is famous doesn’t always mean they know what they are talking about, so do your own research using credible resources.
Who is missing from this list? Comment below!
Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com
Atlanta Gluten-Free Examiner
Gluten-Free Product Specialist, Return to Eden
Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA