Celebrities with Celiac Disease

fried fishSome celebrities, we know, stick to a gluten-free diet as a fad way to lose weight. Other are genuinely gluten-free. Prying into the lives of people we don’t know is a fun international pastime, so let’s check in on some celebrities with Celiac disease:

  • Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, held a charity auction through his show on ebay in May 2005 to raise money for the Celiac Sprue Association. He had this to say on the air: “This was a chance for us to bring a little attention to a disease that probably affects 1 out of every 100 of us, Celiac disease, wheat intolerance and the Celiac Sprue Association.  I‘ve got it, in fact, a marginal case, but enough of one that I‘ve eliminated wheat from my diet.  Kids who have it often wind up are unable to assimilate nutrients from all foods, which means they really cannot grow.” Thanks for raising awareness, Keith!
  • Air America radio host Thom Hartmann eats lunch every day at an 100% gluten-free fish-fry joint in Portland, Oregon, according to the Associated Press.
  • Comedienne and author Sarah Vowell, who says she has a “wheat allergy” is obsessed with the magaine “Living Without,” which she says “has the most downbeat name of any magazine since ‘Downbeat.'” She wonders why “the publishers don’t come clean and call it “Loser?” She also admits that the “corny” and “reassuring” magazine makes her feel less alone because her friends have “an underwhleming grasp of the pros and cons of various brands of soy flour.” Her hilarious segment on This American Life about living without wheat is worth a listen (it starts at about 17:35).
  • Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a member of the popular talk show The View, signed a deal this April to write a book about her experiences living gluten-free. The book, titled The G-Free Diet, will come out May 2009. Elizabeth has spoken on the show about the ins and outs of Celiac disease. Thank you Elizabeth!
  • Jane Swift, the youngest women ever elected to the Massachusetts State Senate who later became the first female Governor of Massachusetts, underwent many medical examinations before being diagnosed with Celiac disease. When she goes to a political function, her staff calls ahead to tell the food servers about gluten-free options. Unfortunately, Swift often finds that people think she’s being difficult.

There are of course several more celebrities who avoid gluten. Kyle Eslick of Celiac-disease.com keeps a running list of celebrities with Celiac Disease.

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