The rising popularity of Down syndrome cafes and cafes for the physically-disabled in Turkey has paved the way for a new wave of cafes for patients with coeliac disease.
A "Diet Cafe" has opened its doors in the Bornova district of western İzmir province. The cafe exclusively serves for coeliac and Phenylketonuria (PKU) patients. Child patients can have gluten-free food. Vahdet Yanık, the chairman of the Aegean Coeliac Disease Association, said these children should also find gluten-free options when dining outside and freely enjoy it at a cafe with their friends. "I hope more similar cafes will open to raise awareness on coeliac and PKU," he added.
During the preparations, academics from the Ege University helped out to form a healthy menu for the children. As a rare disorder, PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine. According to the Mayo Clinic, without the enzyme necessary to process phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that are high in protein. This can eventually lead to serious health problems. People with PKU, including babies, children and adults, need to follow a diet that limits phenylalanine, which is found mostly in foods that contain protein.