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University of Wisconsin increases gluten-free options for students

In a follow-up to an earlier article about gluten-free friendly college campuses around the U.S., now the University of Wisconsin is stepping up their efforts and offering more options for gluten-free students. They have seen a huge increase in demand in the campus dining halls and are trying to keep up with the demand.

UW Badgers
Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Advances in the medical community are commonly seen as the primary reason for the substantial increase in demand in general. Testing is now much more common and correct diagnoses for not only actual celiac disease, but also those who have a less dramatic condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Of course many people are realizing that they just feel better on a gluten-free diet and willingly decrease or cut out entirely their consumption of wheat. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, one in 133 people have celiac disease, while six in 133 Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

According to Barbara Kautz, faculty advisor for the gluten-free badger’s student organization, the number of students that are gluten-free has dramatically increased. The gluten-free badgers work with the Wisconsin Union and university housing after finding that the campus lacked sufficient gluten-free options and has been happy with the changes thus far.

As a result, UW’s dining halls have incorporated gluten-free items such as pasta, pizza, various baked goods and desserts. Kautz also said that UW food services would order food tailored to allergies if requested. “We do have a campus that is very supportive and really wants to meet the needs of students,” Kautz said. “If you are a gluten-free student on campus, do not be afraid to make your needs known.”