Tasce Simon Bongiovanni and colleagues, of the University of California in San Francisco, tracked 104 children at a gluten-free summer 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 the children seemed to benefit from camp as they no longer felt different from other kids or frustrated by their restricted diet; improvement was noted in all of the question categories: well-being, self-perception and emotional outlook.
But the camp experience had the most postive effect on the children who had been on a gluten-free diet for less than four years. Those 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.
It remains to be seen whether the beneficial effect of the camp experience lasts once the children are back in their normal, more stressed environment.
Bongiovanni, T. Pediatrics, March 2010; vol 125.
Courtesy of WebMD
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