Brazen PR

May 13, 2005 10:49 ET

DIETARY SPECIALS - DR HILARY JONES TO HOST SPECIAL WEBCHAT

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - May. 13, 2005) -

TOP EXPERTS JOIN TOGETHER TO PROVIDE VITAL ADVICE

Household favourite Dr Hilary Jones is among five trusted experts who have volunteered to provide vital advice during Coeliac Awareness Week (16th to 21st May 2005) to help increase diagnosis of Coeliac Disease in the UK.

One in 100 people(1) in the UK (and 1:100 children(2) ) are believed to suffer from Coeliac Disease, but only a third of these have actually been diagnosed(3). Symptoms of Coeliac disease vary but include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, tiredness, weight loss and anaemia.

To encourage recognition of the condition, Dietary Specials, the UK's leading brand of gluten and wheat free food products, has enlisted the help of top health and nutrition experts to give up their time to provide specialist advice from dietary matters to queries on where to purchase products. The activity is part of a week-long awareness campaign in conjunction with Coeliac UK, the national charity dedicated to improving life for coeliacs.

Coeliac Disease is a life long autoimmune illness caused by gluten intolerance - but is not just intolerance or an allergy. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye; some coeliacs are also sensitive to oats. Once diagnosed treatment of Coeliac disease involves following a gluten free diet FOR LIFE.

Among the panel of experts helping to raise awareness of this increasingly common disease will be GMTV's resident GP Dr Hilary Jones, state registered dietician and nutritionist Sarah Shenker, Chris Hook of Dietary Specials, Coeliac UK member Janet Foster and wheat and gluten free cookery expert Gill Marczak.

The question and answer sessions will run from 2 to 4pm daily (see below for full schedule) and Dietary Specials is urging people who have any concerns to join the interactive web chat at http://www.dietaryspecials.co.uk. Dietary Specials' Careline 07041 544044 will also be available throughout the week, where the team can help with any other dietary questions.

Anyone can log their questions to be considered for the forum during the week at http://www.dietaryspecials.co.uk, and more information on Coeliac disease can also be found at http://www.coeliac.co.uk

Dr Hilary Jones said: "Coeliac disease used to be rare and, although research has shown diagnosis is still problematic, it is an increasingly recognised disorder. The average incidence in the United Kingdom is now 1 in 100 people, but this is a disease that impacts on the whole family through the need for a restricted diet.

"I have witnessed the difference diagnosis can make on coeliac sufferers who adopt a wheat and gluten free diet and so I am totally committed to raising awareness of this disease to encourage recognition."

Chris Hook of Dietary Specials said: "Dietary Specials works closely with its database of 70,000 diagnosed coeliacs and Coeliac UK to provide support and advice on the wide range of gluten free food available to consumers.

"Teamed with a passion for food, the Dietary Specials team has more than 20 years of experience of healthcare.

"In addition to our special advice this week, the Dietary Specials Customer Careline can offer advice and information on gluten and wheat free products or people can log on to http://www.dietaryspecials.co.uk."

-ENDS-

For further information on Dietary Specials visit http://www.dietaryspecials.co.uk or telephone the Customer Care Line: 07041 544044

Daily schedule of live web chats, 2-4pm:
MONDAY: Nutritionist Sarah Shenker
TUESDAY: Chris Hook of Dietary Specials
WEDNESDAY: Coeliac UK member Janet Foster
THURSDAY: Dr Hilary Jones
FRIDAY: Gluten and wheat free cookery expert Gill Marczak

NOTES TO EDITORS:
(1). Coeliac UK/European Clinical study 2003
(2). Bristol University study 2004
(3). Although up to 0.75m people are estimated to have Coeliac disease, the diagnosed population is approximately a 0.25m

Dietary Specials brings quality, exciting and innovative gluten-free and wheat-free foods to those who need to or choose to follow a restricted diet. All products are perfect for people with Coeliac Disease or dermatitis herpetiformis, wheat intolerance/allergy or those choosing to follow a gluten-free and wheat-free diet. The range includes more than 30 products - the widest selection of chilled, frozen and ambient gluten-free and wheat-free food products in the UK.

Products range from daily food essentials such as bread, cakes, biscuits and pastas to exciting convenience foods such as frozen Yorkshire Pudding, chilled and frozen ranges and hand-made pizza. Dietary Specials also produces multi-grain wheat and gluten free sandwiches with the Compass Foodservice Group.

A number of ambient Dietary Special foods (baking mixes, breads, biscuits) are available on prescription to people with Coeliac disease.

As specialists in this area, Dietary Specials is at the forefront of product innovation and was first to market with:
* Frozen gluten and wheat free ready meals in the UK.
* Chilled gluten and wheat free Italian ready meals including barbeque chicken pizza and fresh tagliatelle pasta.
* Frozen gluten and wheat free Yorkshire Puddings, which scooped an IFE 2005 Innovation Award
* Gluten and wheat free ethnic breads.
* And there's more firsts to market planned for 2005!

Products are widely available through most leading supermarkets (Sainsbury's Tesco, ASDA, Booths, Morrisons, Waitrose) and can be found in the ever-growing Free From section.

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