NASCAR and NBC: A Celiac Dis? Or a Gluten Joke?

Have you seen the NASCAR “Gut Check” ad that’s slated to run this SuperBowl Sunday? Everyone’s all aflutter about how NASCAR and NBC are dissing people who avoid gluten.  But are they really dissing or making fun of us? Or are they – hello?! – just making a joke.

NASCAR-NBC-Gluten-Ad-TextBecause to a certain extent, I get the whole “Gluten Gut Check” joke. ‘Cause I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of people who are self proclaimed “gluten light” telling me that being Celiac isn’t hard because they skip the bun on their burger. I’m sick of those restaurant servers who believe everyone emphasizing that they’re gluten-free for medical reasons is really just part of “this whole Gluten Diet Fad.” And I’m sick of people saying “oh! I’m gluten free too!” because they only eat “sprouted wheat” or “super-fresh” bread. I’m sick of seeing people order a gluten-free meal at a restaurant while downing their gluten-FILLED Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

So poking fun at Americans for being “soft” with this whole overused, often misunderstood “gluten thing?” Okay… maybe….

But is the statement “when our idea of danger is eating gluten, there’s trouble afoot” a good message to send our 10-year-old Celiac son? Our responsible little man who will be watching this commercial while struggling to stay completely gluten-free at a SuperBowl party? What does that say to him? To all of us who work so hard on a daily basis to avoid this pervasive little protein? Ha… ha?

But really, does this one little line in a NASCAR commercial really mean anything? Is this one of those “overly PC” or “being too touchy” overreactions? I don’t know about you, but when this Celiac heard it for the first time, that line was like a punch in the gut. Just like gluten gives. Ouch.

This backlash from the gluten-free community against the spot is an ad agency’s wet dream; people re-posting the commercial voluntarily? Getting other people who wouldn’t have seen it to not only watch this NASCAR ad, but talk about it to others; others who also may not have seen it otherwise? Well, they’re just loving posts like this one. So… you’re welcome NASCAR, NBC and Hungry Man (the agency).  😛  (Like my little post makes any difference…! lol )

So what do you think? NASCAR’s Gut Check gluten reference: “It’s just a JOKE” or “Celiac is no laughing matter”?

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3 Responses to “NASCAR and NBC: A Celiac Dis? Or a Gluten Joke?”

  1. Mary Kate 02/02/2015 at 6:35 PM #

    I think it can be both, can’t it? It’s part of a larger culture that sees GF as a fad diet, not a medical diet — you don’t see the same jokes made about a peanut allergy. And it does encourage the kind of bullying I’ve read about (and thankfully not experienced) — both with kids and adults. But will one commercial make a difference? I don’t know. I don’t think it necessarily makes it worse. But it certainly does not make it better.

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    • noi 02/02/2015 at 7:20 PM #

      I’m right there with you Mary Kate; it seems like it SHOULD be able to be both, doesn’t it?! But it’s hard when the phrase “gluten-free” can indeed lump together trendy, fad dieters with those who find it medically necessary to avoid gluten.

      (BTW…. Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog and it was nice to meet you at GF Expo!!)

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