These days, it's exceedingly trendy to eat gluten-free. In the eighties it was macrobiotics, then in the nineties veganism and vegetarianism caught fire, then in the first part of this decade everyone was quick to purchase organic food and avoid carbohydrates, and now people ascribe to the latest incarnation. I predict that in five years time, gluten will be all but forgotten and everyone who at least feigns to be health-conscious will be loudly proclaiming the negative effects of the latest dietary evil. Just think, who counts calories anymore?
Forgive me for being skeptical. Considering I grew up with a militant vegan sister who converted around age fifteen and would routinely chastise the rest of the family for daring to be so uncouth as to consume meat, I've seen this sort of behavior with my very own eyes. This same sister, I might add, has now has reversed course 180 degrees, making me aware of what I suspected all along---she was merely a bandwagon jumper. Don't get me wrong, I do understand from whence this kind of thing stems. Humans and Americans in particular love to believe that alternative (holistic or otherwise off-label) treatments like these counter the perception that modern medicine should not be the answer for every ailment and can even make things worse. Those who rail against a nation of hypochondriacs seeking perfection in the form of a pill believe in diet regulation and a kind of do-it-yourself form of health.
This kind of thinking reminds me of taking stock in alchemy or any other pseudoscience. It might be best not to second-guess the licensed practitioner while still retaining the knowledge that medicine cannot fix every problem and that, moreover, no one's life can ever be perfected. I marvel at how certain people will take the latest highly inconclusive bit of medical evidence and transform it into some cure-all dietary regimen that, if you'd believe the hype, by itself can solve a multitude of health issues. Nothing in life is that simplistic.