Back to Journals » Nutrition and Dietary Supplements » Volume 10

The gluten-free diet: access and economic aspects and impact on lifestyle

Authors Arias-Gastelum M, Cabrera-Chávez F, Vergara-Jiménez MDJ, Ontiveros N

Received 2 February 2018

Accepted for publication 4 April 2018

Published 21 June 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 27—34


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Mayra Arias-Gastelum,1 Francisco Cabrera-Chávez,1 Marcela de Jesús Vergara-Jiménez,1 Noé Ontiveros1,2

1School of Nutrition Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico; 2Department of Chemical, Biological, and Agricultural Sciences, Universidad de Sonora, Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico

Background: The cost and availability of gluten-free products (GFPs) are aspects associated with gluten-free dietary compliance. In turn, following a gluten-free diet (GFD) could impact on lifestyle.
Objectives: To investigate the availability and cost of GFPs in Northwestern Mexico, to associate these factors with gluten-free dietary noncompliance, and to evaluate the impact of the GFD on lifestyle.
Materials and methods: Gluten-containing foods were compared with their gluten-free versions. The data were collected by store visitation (16 supermarkets and 10 health food stores). Individuals prescribed a GFD by a physician were surveyed (n=36).
Results: The gluten-free versions investigated (n=16) had limited availability (average 26.9%; 4.3 gluten-free versions available per store) and were more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts (190%–1088%, P<0.05). Poor gluten-free dietary compliance was attributed to the high cost (n=36) and low availability (n=30) of GFPs. Most respondents were afraid of dining out (n=35), were limiting their social activities (n=32), and had difficulties traveling (n=30).
Conclusion: Health care professionals who counsel gluten-sensitive patients should provide tools to facilitate access to GFPs and to minimize the cost of the GFD, and consider the diet-associated social restrictions.

Keywords: gluten-free diet, cost, availability, lifestyle, Mexico

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]