Tag: DAA

DOES DAA TARGET DISSIDENT DIETITIANS WITH FAKE NEWS?

By Marika Sboros

When the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) isn’t dishing up fake nutrition news to the public, it makes up fake news to try to discredit dietitians who cross it, say critics. It’s probably no coincidence, that those dietitians support low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets to treat obesity, diabetes and heart disease and/or criticise Australia’s dietary guidelines and DAA’s food industry links.

Critics say that  DAA’s Big Food sponsors don’t like those dietitians either as they affect product sales. In the final of a four-part series on DAA’s conflicts of interest, Foodmed.net looks at the cases of three dietitians who fell foul of DAA and its long-time CEO Claire Hewat. DAA also thought nothing of going after one of the dietitians in another country. It tried and failed to silence a top dietitian academic in New Zealand for her views on LCHF.

Hewat flatly denies that LCHF or its industry links had anything to do with actions against the dietitians below. Here, Foodmed.net looks at whether that claim stands up to scrutiny.



DAA CLUELESS ON LCHF – DIETITIAN DOWN UNDER

Feng-Yuan Liu

Feng-Yuan Liu, of Metro Dietetics, is a relatively rare but growing species Down Under: a dietitian who is a member of Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and brave enough to speak up publicly for LCHF (low-carbohydrate, high-fat) diets to treat obesity and diabetes. DAA’s antagonism towards low-carb diets for diabetics is legendary.  Also becoming legendary is DAA’s response to some of its members who support LCHF. On January 30, 2017, Foodmed.net will publish the final of a four-part series on DAA’s links with Big Food. It will look at three dietitians who have fallen foul of DAA for various reasons.

Here, Liu goes head to head in a blog with DAA over the information it dishes out to the public on LCHF for diabetes. She quotes verbatim from DAA statements on its website and presents research in rebuttal. It’s another long read, but a fascinating one scientifically. Along the way, Liu shows that DAA uses a discredited study by South African researchers to discredit LCHF. She also suggests that DAA is clueless – she describes it as ‘confused’ – about just what constitutes LCHF. It will be interesting to see how DAA reacts to another of its members who believes that LCHF is a safe, effective option for diabetics.  – Marika Sboros



WHY DAA MAY REGRET ‘SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY’

By Marika Sboros

It’s no real surprise that Big Food loves the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). DAA has quietly carved out close to a monopoly for its members on giving dietary advice to the public.

It regularly dishes up messages that feed Big Food’s interests and product sales. Critics say that it makes sense, then, that processed food and drink industries happily pay oodles of boodle to keep that monopoly going and messages flowing. They say that DAA’s self-regulated status makes it even more attractive to those interests. It means that DAA can pretty much do as it pleases and it does.

Yet there’s a downside to DAA’s cosy relationship with food industries. British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe has called it “sleeping with the enemy”. In a critique of conflicts of interest in her groundbreaking book, The Obesity Epidemic, What Caused it? How Can We Stop It?, she looks at the consequences. Harcombe was referring to the US dietetics fraternity. She could have been talking about DAA. In Part 3 of this series, Foodmed.net looks at why critics say that DAA may bitterly regret getting into bed with Big Food.



DAA TALKING HEADS: TIME FOR NEW CONVERSATION?

By Marika Sboros

One reason for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) credibility problem, say critics, is its public face. They say that by default or design, DAA media spokespersons regularly dispense low-fat, high-carb dietary advice that serves the interests of food-industry partners. Such advice lacks evidence for safety and efficacy to treat or prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

DAA spokespersons also regularly show special antipathy towards Paleo and low-carb diets to treat these conditions, despite growing evidence. As well, some spokespersons are prominent university academics. Thus, critics say this leaves DAA open to a common industry tactic. It is the “halo effect” that results from “eminence-based” rather than evidence-based nutrition information. It helps to embed unhealthy products as healthy in public consciousness

In Part 2 of this series, Foodmed.net takes a look at some of those talking heads. We also look at why critics say that the conversation needs to change.



IS DOWN UNDER’S DAA REALLY IN BED WITH BIG FOOD?

By Marika Sboros

Is the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) in bed with Big Food? It’s nearly two years since US public health lawyer Michele Simon first raised the question. She worded it slightly differently at the time. Her answer was an unequivocal “yes” in And Now A Word From Our Sponsors in February 2015. But has anything changed in the interim?

DAA says that it is not in bed with Big Food now and never has been. It claims that its sponsors – “partners”, it prefers to call them – have no influence on the advice it dishes out.  It also claims to take “great care to guard against conflict of interest”.

Its critics say otherwise. They say that DAA is heavily conflicted and has been for decades. Critics also say that DAA is little more than a front for the food industry. Read on and make up your own mind.



FETTKE: VICTIM OF KANGAROO COURT DOWN UNDER? Part 2

Dr Gary Fettke and Belinda Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke and Belinda Fettke

This is the final of a two-part series on the strange case of Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke. The country’s medical regulatory body has banned him for life from talking to patients about their sugar intake. Fettke says that he just wants to save patients’ limbs and lives. Senators have come to his aid in an Australian Senate Inquiry and wife Belinda speaks up when Fettke feels he can’t speak out. Here, they look at anomalies in AHPRA’s case against Fettke.

By Marika Sboros

On November 16, 2016, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) issued an ambiguous statement relating to Dr Gary Fettke. AHPRA said that by law it could not disclose details of Fettke’s case unless he gave permission. However, AHPRA then proceeded to do just that: disclose details. Not surprisingly, senators conducting an inquiry into AHPRA’s medical complaints process were none too happy with that. 



FETTKE: VICTIM OF KANGAROO COURT DOWN UNDER? Part 1

Why does Australia’s medical regulatory body so badly want Dr Gary Fettke to stop talking to his patients about nutrition? In the first of a two-part series, here’s why legal experts say the campaign against him is Kafkaesque and a kangaroo court. Anything sound familiar?

 

Gary FettkeBy Marika Sboros

Is Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke the victim of a real-life kangaroo court? The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) has banned Fettke from mentioning the “s” word (sugar) to his patients now or in future. Legal experts say that AHPRA’s ban has all the hallmarks of a kangaroo court.

Senators conducting an inquiry into AHPRA’s secretive medical complaints process think so too. The senators haven’t said so in so many words. However, they made it clear in targeted questions and comments to AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher at the inquiry.

Claire Deeks, enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, also thinks so. She says that Fettke is probably the victim of “gross injustice”. What do you think?



WHY CAN’T DR GARY FETTKE TALK TO PATIENTS ABOUT SUGAR?

Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke can no longer advise his diabetic patients on nutrition to prevent limb amputation. In particular, he cannot tell patients not to eat sugar.

Why not? Because the country’s medical regulatory body, Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), says so. AHPRA has gone further. Even if the dietary advice Fettke has given his patients so far ever becomes mainstream, it says he must still keep silent.

Doctors globally have reacted with surprise, shock and outrage in equal measure at AHPRA’s ruling. US professor of cellular biology Richard Feinman calls the action “unbelievable”. Feinman says AHPRA is “more concerned with saving face than saving lives”. Here’s why: 



LOW-CARB BEST FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES? YOU BET, SAYS STAPLETON!

Troy StapletonBy Marika Sboros

Ask Australian physician Dr Troy Stapleton if a low-carbohydrate diet is sustainable for type 1 diabetes and you get a one-word answer: “Yes.” Ask the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and you get the opposite: “No.”

Who should you believe? All my money’s on Stapleton. He has type 1 diabetes. He has also used low-carb to control his condition for four years now. Stapleton has reduced his insulin intake significantly. He is feeling better than ever.

Stapleton gave a brilliant talk on the topic to Low Carb Down Under, available on video.  Here’s why.



Kosterich: why this man isn’t Australia’s Public Health Enemy!

Dr Joe Kosterich

Dr Joe Kosterich

Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich is one of a growing and precious breed Down Under: a doctor with an open heart and mind. Like growing numbers of his colleagues, Kosterich is not in the thrall of drug or food companies. He doesn’t think he’s godlike. He doesn’t whip out a prescription pad every time he sees a patient.  

Kosterich is more interested in health than in sickness.  He has done the unthinkable to more conventional orthodox doctors and dietitians in Australia. He has come out in support of a man they like to say is dangerous. There is even a Facebook page devoted to demonising and ridiculing this man. It was described as a hate page in an Australian government Senate Enquiry. It certainly has all the hallmarks of a hate page. 

Doctors and dietitians who really should know better comment on the page in the most unsavoury, unprofessional way. Some use foul language to denigrate fellow health professionals. So who is this man they desperately want you to believe is Australia’s Public Health Enemy?  Read on to find out who the real threat to public health is in that country. – Marika Sboros