Exploring the Eating Experience in Individuals Recently Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Health and Sport Science


Changes in the way in which a person eats can alter an individual’s sense of identity around the eating experience (described as physiological, socio-cultural and psychological). Through the utilization of the Social Cognitive Transition Model of Adjustment (SCTMA) and a phenomenological qualitative study approach, this study explored the transition of the eating experience in people diagnosed with Celiac Disease (CD) within six-months to five years of the study. Semi-structured interviews, the Celiac Disease Adherence Test (CDAT) and CeliacQ-7 questionnaires were used to measure dietary adherence and quality of life and better understand the transition to the GFD (gluten free diet) within the framework of SCMTA. Social media sites and snowball sampling were used for recruitment. Two trained qualitative researchers engaged in horizontalization, reduction and elimination, clustering and thematising, and composition of textural description. Bivariate correlations were examined between dietary adherence and quality of life. For the findings, three of the 17 participants had inadequate adherence to the GFD and a positive relationship between quality of life and dietary adherence (r=0.59; p=.0) was observed. Five themes emerged aligning with SCTMA. All described discrepancies between pre-and post-diagnosis eating experience contributing to worry, grief, and loss. Each detailed strategies to manage the stressors from a GFD. For some, benefit finding and meaning making supported restored meaning in the eating experience. In conclusion, exploring the transition of identity related to the eating experience through the framework of SCTMA, dietitians can gain a deeper understanding of psycho-social processes involved in the transition to a GFD.


Gluten Free Diet, Celiac Disease, Eating Experience, Food Identity


Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Food Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Presentation: 2 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2021

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