'Wheat Belly' coverage draws NAWG statement

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON – Responding to the increasing media coverage of “Wheat Belly,” a book advocating the elimination of wheat from the diet, the National Association of Wheat Growers has issued the following statement:

“Humans have been growing and eating wheat for thousands of years and the assertion that wheat’s nutritional value has been changed is patently untrue. Eliminating wheat foods means eliminating an important source of healthful nutrients that are vital to our bodies functioning properly like fiber, iron, B vitamins, antioxidants, and folic acid, which is especially important to women of childbearing age.”

The statement was issued specifically in response to a request from the ABC television show The View, which has aired a segment discussing “hot” food topics including whether eating wheat is healthy. The View segment featured an appearance by Jeffrey Morrison, who is a certified nutritional expert, who advocated the position of Dr. Davis. The show follows an appearance by Dr. Davis on CBS This Morning on Sept. 3. Additionally, the “Wheat Belly” diet was advocated July 24 on the O’Reilly Factor.

“Wheat Belly” remains atop the New York Times bestseller list. It has been on the list for 21 weeks.
The Grain Foods Foundation has been promoting a recent paper by Glenn Gaesser, a member of the G.F.F. Scientific Advisory Committee, critical of gluten-free dieting.

The G.F.F. noted that the thrust of Dr. Gaesser’s work was picked up in a WebMD article by the site’s leading dietician, Janet Helm.

“Janet later posted a follow-up piece on her personal blog, which specifically mentions Dr. Gaesser’s literature review and points readers to a host of sources that refute Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly claims,” said Jennifer Geiger, an account supervisor at Mullen.
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READER COMMENTS (38)

By Mike 9/19/2012 3:11:35 PM
Certain reviews I've been seeing on Amazon make me wonder if the wheat-free diet is actually credible. Here's a quote from a five star review, and I'll explain afterwards why it raises red flags: "...he talked a lot about wheat, and the many ways it destroys your health. But I've been hesitant to go wheat free. I love warm bread with butter, cinnamon rolls, pizza, pasta, cake, pie, Ritz crackers, pretzels, and almost everything else made with wheat. So it wasn't easy to make the commitment to go without them. ... I've now been wheat free for three weeks (as stated above, I went wheat free one week before the book was released), and I've lost 7 pounds." My reaction: Alright... Was wheat the problem, or is it that this guy was eating buttery bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza, cake, pie, crackers, etc?

By Greg Widely 9/19/2012 9:42:50 AM
Civilization became possible because humans learned how to grow grains. But yes, today, many struggle with the easy availability of calorie dense foods. People who push these fad diets actually hurt the obese because they are continually looking for the next magic pill, which sounds easy, rather than moderating their total caloric intake, which is hard. China Diet – Atkins Diet- Grapefruit Diet – No Wheat Diet – Juicing. Sensational promoters are responsible for more damage and more obesity. I'm sure a no wheat diet would work great, because you would be simply eliminating a large source of calories. You could have a "no refrigerator" diet, or a "nothing you bought in a supermarket" diet, or a nothing that comes in a red or blue package diet, etc. etc. etc. If people will eat a moderate number of calories and exercise, they will be not be obese.

By Noel 9/13/2012 9:28:36 PM
Human health has suffered ever since wheat was introduced thousands of years ago. The fossil record shows this. In order to digest wheat, you must have multiple stomachs, like a ruminant, which can ferment the grain and turn it into fatty acids. Humans don't have a digestive system that can do this. Wheat, in fact ALL grains, are not foods for humans to consume, especially given the genetic modifications that have been made over the past 50 years, or so. My wife and I gave up wheat 6 months ago and we are no longer diabetic, have lost almost 100 pounds between us and have cured a myriad of illnesses that doctors simply passed off as "you're getting old, what do you expect". Well, I expect better nutritional advice form my government and the medical community.

By SherriH 9/12/2012 9:51:35 PM
The health improvements of stopping wheat consumption cannot be denied. Just read the Wheat Belly Facebook page. EVERY day new people are posting the positive changes in their lives and health. This many people cannot be flukes, fakes or liars! If anyone doubts, prove it to yourself by going wheat free for a month - you will feel the difference. Then if you do eat wheat again, the reaction to this poison will be multiplied showing even more how harmful it is. Take the challenge and see for yourself.

By Susan 9/12/2012 8:51:12 PM
Neither literature reviews nor earnest industry spokespersons can change the fact that thousands and thousands of people are transforming their health for the better, once they stop eating wheat. All of the wheat industry types should give it a try themselves to see what it is we are all experiencing and talking about here!

By Joanie 9/12/2012 8:44:13 AM
Began reacting violently to wheat when I was about 20 yrs old. That corresponded to the time when genetically-altered modern dwarf wheat hit the grocery shelves. I have been hospitalized due to toxicity of wheat and am now celiac. This is a REAL issue. Thank you, Dr. Davis.

By gary 9/12/2012 6:44:34 AM
The last word in the article is "Mullen.". Isn't that a PR firm? So this is about spin? Gaesser is on the advisory board of a major wheat lobby group. He Writes an article, and the PR firm gets it on web MD??? Talk about spin control. Instead of desperation, trying to hold onto the old sick ways, why not grow almonds, avocados, broccoli....

By Kim Gauthier 9/12/2012 4:50:47 AM
I've been wheat-free since April and I'm more than half way towards my 70 pound weight loss goal, my nagging back & knee pain has disappeared, my complexion glows, I'm never hungry nor have cravings for anything and there has been a major reduction in my allergy symptoms. Two thirds of the medical conditions Dr. Davis attributes to wheat consumption in his book affect myself or my family - TWO THIRDS!! Many of my family & friends have purchased this book after seeing what it has done for me. The proof is all around - there are a lot of people who are feeling much better after giving up wheat.

By Howthwaite 9/12/2012 1:39:06 AM
I have been wheat/gluten free for over ten years and in that time I haven't even had so much as a cold.

By Sandi B 9/11/2012 10:06:32 PM
Wheat free x 13 months... I lost 111 pounds and I don't miss it AT ALL! My migraines, vertigo, heart burn, arthritis, bad knees and a multitude of other problems... GONE! At 48 years old, I feel better than I did in my 20's and a high school friend commented the other day that I weigh less than I did in high school... she's right :)

By Bev Morris 9/11/2012 9:58:58 PM
I've never read Wheat Belly, though I'd love to get my hands on a copy, if it ever become free at my local library. I have read a lot of other sources on the subject, though, and I would suggest that anyone who is curious about whether they are, in fact, poisoning themselves with wheat do the experiment suggested by Robb Wolf (The Paleo Diet). You don't have to make the commitment for a lifetime, just make a tiny commitment of 30 days. Allow your body fully detox from the wheat, get over the wheat cravings, and see how your body feels. My husband and I tried this about 18 months ago, not to lose weight, but because I was desperately searching for a solution to his migraines. He's still not 100% migraine-free, since he gets them from a back condition that cannot be operated on, but the frequency of his migraines has been cut way down. He used to get one a couple times a week and could not work through them. Now, he'll get one every few months, and he doesn't have to take the day off work when he does. I had no reason to drop wheat, but it's a lot easier to make a huge change with your spouse's support. I dropped wheat with him, and I'm very happy I did. I'm much more energetic; I've gone from forcing myself to go to the gym to going 5-6 times a week. I would have never started homeschooling my children if I hadn't dropped wheat. And, oh yeah, I've lost 30 pounds, too. Give it a try. If you don't like it, you've spent a month without bread or pasta. No big deal. If you do like it, you've gained a lifetime of feeling better. Not only that, but if you replace the wheat with healthy things like fruit and veggies, it'll really reduce your grocery bill.

By John G. 9/11/2012 9:24:51 PM
Six weeks wheat-free, 15 lbs. lighter, more energetic and faster on my bike. Don't miss beer, bread, pasta etc. at all. No late-afternoon sleepiness, and better energy for post-work exercise. So far, so good.

By Gary 9/11/2012 9:23:50 PM
Aren't most of the nutrient claims of the NAWG relating to nutrients that are ADDED to bread? Heck, I could fortify dog doo with folic acid...that doesn't mean people should eat it. I am wheat-free 1 year and 1 week, down 55 lbs, and feel better than ever. Can't you guys grow broccoli instead????

By Louise 9/11/2012 9:16:51 PM
8 months wheat free....no more acid reflux, no more chronic sinus problems, no cravings. Best of all....I am insulin resistant and my blook sugar is under control and my A1C is normal now. I let my meter be my guide and my readings were out of control as long as I had wheat. I threw it out 8 months ago and never looked back.....and oh yes! I have dropped 30 lbs......Feel 100% better....sooooooo I say...hooray for Dr.Davis!

By C L Rose 9/11/2012 8:51:20 PM
NAWG statement is false and misleading. Davis says NOTHING about eliminating all wheat foods from our diet. Rather, just that which is made from " a high-yield, 2-foot tall "semi-dwarf" plant that no more resembles the wheat consumed by our ancestors than a chimpanzee (which shares 99% of the same genes that we do) resembles a human." He specifically points out that it is the einkorn wheat that our ancestors consumed.

By Heather 9/11/2012 8:07:01 PM
1 year wheat free as of Oct 1 -- in just a few weeks... won't eat (franken) wheat again willingly.... healthier, stronger, better! Period. I started Paleo style of eating (80/20 - with "food testing) before Wheat Belly came out -- the book only solidified my reasons to stay completely wheat free... take that bakingbusiness!

By Kat C 9/11/2012 7:38:42 PM
I have been wheat free for 3 weeks, no more migraines, my acid reflux is better, I have lost 5 lbs. Believe me I had my doubts but after research on acid reflux and the causes, and migraines, I decided to give gluten free a try! I am 63 and feel better in 3 weeks than I have felt in years. Why don't you advocate farmers going back to original wheat seed and giving up the gmo's? We could all be healthier. I love baked goods and I am finding new grains to use to bake them and make them healther.

By Sarita 9/11/2012 7:35:55 PM
I am reading Dr.Davis,s book, he makes a compelling argument. I want to know if there is any truth to the claims that he makes. Has wheat been so bastardized by genetic manipulation that it is possibly poisenous? No accountability in the lab, no testing on animals. Common sense is my edu ation and this makes me wonder, it makes alot of sense.

By Elissa 9/11/2012 7:06:19 PM
I have been doing this for over not even a month. In just less than ONE month I have lost 12+lbs and 13+ inches. I am off my stomach meds and my narcotic sleep aid. I am trying to get off my BP meds and I am VERY close. My hair is shinier, my eyes bluer, my lips redder, my skin softer. My mood is delightful and my energy is high. I am now convinced that I was slowly killing myself based on the food I was eating. I am ONLY 28 and I feel like I have my life back.

By Debbie Ann 9/11/2012 6:53:37 PM
I have been wheat free since June 3rd. I have gone from a 16-18 woman's pant size to a size 12. I have Hashimotos thyroiditis for 17 years. Last month I had to lower my diagram of thyroid medication. I no longer have days of the "bluppies" ( probably mild depression). I have not started exercising at all, just taking stairs when available, walking the mall ect. People at work are amazed at my transformation. But....... here comes the funny part....they all think I'm crazy.

By Diana 9/11/2012 6:45:20 PM
They feed you that garbage about wheat being o.k. because the wheat makes people sick. Without wheat alot people are healed and then BigPharma loses $$. When will everyone wake up.

By Louise 9/11/2012 6:37:10 PM
Bakingbusiness.com , you have got this all wrong. My husband and I are HUGE fans of Dr. Davis.. He is helping to improve the health of so many people. I lost 10 pounds, and my husband lost 30 pounds from giving up grains.. I have no more acid reflux.. No more IBS... Cholesterol numbers improved and blood sugar levels came down to the normal range.. You ought to try it yourselves! Nobody needs any grains..!

By Dolly 9/11/2012 6:27:58 PM
Has anyone ever had a problem from giving up wheat? Not that I know of. The amount of health problems solved by giving up wheat would impact the medical and pharmaceutical system if enough people did it. Because it's addicting I don't think they have anything to worry about, cigarettes are still around.

By Lauri 9/11/2012 6:23:38 PM
I have been 100% wheat/gluten free since Jan. 30, 2012 (my new birthday). All of my arthritis pain is gone, Blood sugar is normal, I sleep better, no more heartburn/indigestion, etc. I have lost 74 pounds and NO MORE FOOD CRAVINGS. I tried many many diets and they worked for a while but always the cravings would kick in. Insatiable night time hunger is gone. Wheat Belly is my lifestyle for the rest of my life. Had a very little bit of "hidden" wheat last Thursday....Sick!!!! and had to miss Friday from work...in bed. This stuff is poison and no one will tell me otherwise. The only one that will truly take care of me is...ME!

By Richard Johnson 9/11/2012 6:23:21 PM
Well, I quit eating products with gluten 10 weeks ago. I still eat lots of fiber...milled flaxseed, veggies, etc. I lost 16 lbs over that time. I have gone to the gym faithfully for 3 years and couldn't lose that kind of weight. My waste is Dow more than 3 inches and a pant size and I feel much more alert....deny it all you want. I am living it...without genetically modified wheat gluten

By Jon 9/11/2012 6:13:35 PM
My wife and I gave up wheat (only) in March. The most notable change for me is the loss of 15 lbs from my middle. Most notable for my wife is the cessation of chronic heartburn, as well as many pounds. She did try to eat a roll one Friday 3 weeks in only to spend sat & sun feeling awful. Lesson learned. Wheat is a horrible poison that humans do not need. It should not be used as animal feed either. Do take the time to become more educated about this. You will be glad you did.

By Katie 9/11/2012 6:08:35 PM
Just getting started and I feel BETTER already! GONE is all the wheat from my kitchen, replaced with almond and coconut flours, flax, etc. I've already reduced my insulin by 50% and know that I will soon be off ALL my medications. I'm never going back to TOXIC wheat. Check ingrediants labels on all your food...wheat is hidden in everything!! IM SO TIRED OF BEING LIED TO, MY HUSBAND WOULD STILL BE ALIVE HAD WE KNOWN SOONER ABOUT WHEAT!!!

By Robert 9/11/2012 6:06:19 PM
If wheat were healthy, then people's health would not improve upon wheat elimination. We've seen that it unquestionably does improve. My life and health has improved greatly because of the choice to eliminate wheat. The wheat growers should see this as an opportunity to switch over to producing grains for Biofuels... there's no need for anyone to suffer in the process of wheat elimination. Now that would be a win/win situation because of the stupid high fuel prices.

By Terri 9/11/2012 5:33:34 PM
I have been wheat free for about two years. It has dramatically changed my health. I was previously diagnosed with fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, sleep problems, fibromyalgia, eczema, osteoarthritis and obesity. Since I've stopped eating wheat, I shrunk my liver one inch, I lowered my blood pressure, I sleep without medication, my pain levels have decreased and I've lost 45 pounds. I have tried numerous diets and the only thing that worked was for me was to stop eating wheat. With my success I have managed to keep the weight off! Something I have never been able to do in the past. I am a firm believer in Dr. Davis book "Wheat Belly" as it has saved my life and no one will be able to tell me any different.

By Laura 9/11/2012 5:21:55 PM
The wheat lobby can try to refute and ridicule Dr. Davis' claims, but those of us who have given up wheat know better. We have experienced the benefits of saying goodbye to bread, and because of the life-changing results, we will be the ones having the last laugh with improved health, freedom from hunger, and a life without medications to control diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Such a simple thing to do, but somehow the thought of giving up wheat drives critics/wheat industry to insist that wheat is a necessary component in our diets. My triglycerides dropped from 160 to 63 and I owe Dr. Davis and Gary Taubes a great big thank you!

By Harusami 9/11/2012 5:12:40 PM
I've been wheat-free since May and have lost 40lbs in less than 4 months. I have more energy, better skin condition, and have lost all cravings for baked goods. My roommate has also lost 25lbs. I only picked up Dr. Davis' 2 weeks ago, my initial elimination of wheat and processed foods was due to candida... which I now believe is an epidemic in the USA due to wheat. It's total BS that wheat is necessary in one's diet. I enjoy small amounts of sprouted brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains, but eat a lot of veggies, fruits and organic meats & eggs. I'm never hungry like I was when eating "healthy whole wheat." I would not be surprised if Corporations were utilizing the addictive nature of this "new wheat" to sell more of their products while causing this epidemic of obesity.

By Gretchen 9/11/2012 5:10:25 PM
My family has been free from wheat for over 5 months now, and there is zero doubt in our minds that life is better without this nasty toxin! After having chronic headaches 3-4 days a week for 30 years, they are gone after getting rid of wheat! So is the joint pain in hands, knees, hips and shoulder, fatigue, IBS, recurring sinus and urinary tract infections, acid reflux.. Just to name a few of the benefits :) top that off with over 60 lbs lost between my husband and myself. The "experts" and Grain Lobby can write and say whatever they want in defense of wheat, the REAL LIFE stories of thousands of people are still going to be a stronger voice. You can't make us eat it, no matter how you dress it up! Our friends and families see the differences in our health and happiness, and when they ask what is different, we tell them... Ditch the wheat!

By lisa l 9/11/2012 5:08:06 PM
I gave up wheat 10 months ago and with it I gave up 16 lbs, 10 inches from my waist and hips, acne, joint pains, constant hunger pains, and monthly cramps. Hmm....My thyroid is working better and for the first time in 10 years, my doctor lowered my dose. My children and husband have joined me. We eat meat, fish, veggies, fruit, dairy, and nuts. These foods have plenty of vitamins to replace those we supposedly "need" in bread. I will never go back to eating wheat. My sister joined me and her pre-diabetes blood sugar levels disappeared. Her doc says she should continue eating no wheat. Go figure. I can lessen disease without eating wheat. Why not? Why are you "fighting" this? This is not a fad.People are learning that wheat is not as good as you think it is.

By Andrew 9/11/2012 5:05:17 PM
I too read the book and stopped wheat for a week. Dramatic results ensued, less gas, I felt overall a lot better, and lost weight. Also, my allergies seemed to go away too. Add to this not feeling tired and almost going into a carb coma. Started eating it again and withing 20 minutes I felt terrible. The responsible thing to do would be to figure out how to push baking without using the Franken wheat we have now and making our nation healthier. I have a feeling what Dr. Davis says is true based on my own results and if so, then it is costing America Billions of dollars in wasted doctor bills, and not to mention all of the bad things that go along with Obesity including a shorter life. To not look at this with open eyes is just not responsible. People can eat baked goods, just make them healthier is all.

By annette 9/11/2012 4:57:00 PM
Dr Davis book is just earth shattering and is changing lives for the better.would never go back to wheat or grains! Feel so much better and lost a lot of weight! Can't thank him enough!

By steve 9/11/2012 4:56:38 PM
Of course you're going to do whatever you can to defend your industry. I get it. But you're dead wrong about wheat having stayed the same for thousands of years -- that's simply false. And while I won't speak for everyone, I can say that after eliminating wheat from my diet 100%, I've experienced the following: (1) Significant weight loss (especially belly fat) (2) Disappearance of previously nagging arthritis pain in my fingers and hands (3) Significantly less gas (4) A near disappearance of migraine headaches (5) Much clearer complexion (6) No more constant hunger or cravings for baked goods

By Ron 9/11/2012 4:54:51 PM
Well, I know FOR A FACT that I have lost about 50 lbs. since last Fall on a wheat-free diet and that at 65, I feel like I did in my thirties! Much more energy, nagging eczema cleared up, better sleep, more stamina. And ANY AND ALL the vitamins/minerals in wheat are found just as abundantly in non-wheat foods. That claim is a red herring!

By Lisa M 9/11/2012 4:53:31 PM
I gave up wheat over a month ago. My skin has cleared up, I'm sleeping better, arthritis pain in my fingers has completely gone, my head is clearer, no more gastric distress, no more heartburn, no more food cravings, and I'm losing weight. I definitely see the connection!