Feb 15, 2010

Study Shows Benefits of Attending a Celiac Camp

A WebMD article reports the findings of a study about gluten-free camps done by the University of California, San Francisco. The study found that kids with celiac disease developed a more positive outlook about their dietary restrictions after attending a week long camp.

"The researchers tracked 104 youngsters at a gluten-free camp, 70% of whom had been on a gluten-free diet for less than four years. The children, aged 7 to 17, were given a 14-question survey at the start and end of the camp that gathered information on how they felt about themselves.

'All seemed to benefit from camp, no longer feeling different from other kids or feeling frustrated with a restricted diet,' the researchers write. 'Improvement was observed in each of the three categories of questions: well-being, self-perception and emotional outlook.'

But the camp experience had a greater effect on those who had been on a gluten-free diet for less than four years. Children who had been on a gluten-free diet for more than four years already had high positive ratings at the beginning of camp, so their ratings at the end of the camp session changed less.

The study was published in Pediatrics and concludes "durability of these observations on return to daily life requires additional study." If you would like to register your child for a gluten-free camp, view this list of summer camps from Nancy Lapid About.com Celiac Disease and reserve your space now!

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