Strom (2014) wrote on NYTimes.com:
Never mind that a Mayo Clinic survey in 2012 concluded that only 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack the small intestine when gluten is ingested and can lead to other debilitating medical problems if not diagnosed.
An additional 18 million people, or about 6 percent of the population, is believed to have gluten sensitivity, a less severe problem with the protein in wheat, barley and rye and their relatives that gives elasticity to dough and stability to the shape of baked goods.
According to Hajarnavis, the chief executive of Popcorn Indiana (as cited in Strom, 2014):
But there is a growing population of people who have somehow heard that gluten-free is healthier or think of it as fashionable, and when they remove gluten from their diet, they’re inadvertently taking out a lot of [unhealthy] processed foods and are really feeling the benefits of eating healthier foods.