Robert Smith MP joined celebrity TV GP, Dr Chris Steele MBE, the resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning, at a reception in Parliament to support Coeliac UK’s campaign to raise awareness of coeliac disease and the need to improve the availability of gluten-free food.
Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK and is a serious disease in which the body’s immune system reacts to gluten found in wheat, barley and rye, making the body attack itself. If left undiagnosed, it can lead to infertility, multiple miscarriages, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.
Dr Chris Steele MBE, who has recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease himself, is the health ambassador for Coeliac UK. The aim of the campaign is to promote understanding of the disease and the need for increased gluten-free provision across the hospitality industry.
Sir Robert, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said: “For many of those diagnosed, eating out is a continuous challenge which affects their lives every day. This campaign aims to make eating out possible for all people with coeliac disease, to significantly improve their quality of life and create understanding of their condition.”
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, which is found in such items as bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and beer.