Tag: dietary guidelines

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 also 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.



FAT PHOBIA: WILL TEEN REBELS FREE YOU FROM ITS SHACKLES?

Will teens be the rebels who free you from the shackles of fat phobia forever this year? Sammy Pepys, one of my favourite nutrition bloggers, believes so. Pepys is author of the fabulous Fat is our Friend. He styles himself the ‘reluctant’ nutritionist. He has fat phobia firmly in his sights. You should have it in your sights too. – Marika Sboros

By Sammy Pepys

I’m an optimist. I’ve contributed to debates on food and health for a few years now with one core piece of communication. We won’t begin to fix the Western malaise of increasing obesity and related chronic diseases unless we first lose our fear of fat.

Change is starting but it’s running at a snail-like pace. As well, institutional indoctrination has been too effective. Take the 90% of UK citizens who choose low-fat or skimmed milk over the regular “from-the-cow” variety daily. Is it because it tastes better?



CANINE OBESITY: SCHULOF ON SCIENCE TO PROTECT BEST FRIENDS

Daniel Schulof and Kody

By Marika Sboros

You don’t have to love dogs to appreciate the brilliance of this book on canine obesity, but it helps. It makes it easier to see why Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma really is a riveting read. One reason is the subtitle: The Silent Epidemic Killing America’s Dogs and the New Science That Could Save Your Best Friend’s Life. 

It reveals the bare bones of the raison d’etre: evidence-based solutions to the epidemic of canine obesity.

Another reason is that this book isn’t just about canine obesity. It’s also about another global epidemic: of human adipose tissue. That’s the medical profession’s euphemism for excess fat. This book looks at why obesity shortens lives, whether canine or human. And why even moderate obesity in dogs is more dangerous for them than smoking is in humans.

But this book’s biggest strength is probably US author Daniel Schulof. He is not a veterinarian, medical doctor or scientist. He makes no bones about that in his author’s note. In fact, he claims to be no expert of any kind. That’s not true, of course. He’s just humble and that’s a nice trait. Here’s his real expertise and the power of this book:



SWISS RE: DIETARY GUIDELINES A ‘FAILED HUMAN EXPERIMENT’

Photo credit: dzingeek via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

By Marika Sboros

Global reinsurer Swiss Re is calling for radical reform of low-fat, high-carb dietary guidelines. The call follows global investment bank Credit Suisse’s damning report on the guidelines in 2015. Swiss Re devotes its last medical newsletter of 2016 to a research demolition job of the guidelines.

In it, Swiss Re Chief Medical Officer Dr John Schoonbee calls the guidelines a “failed human experiment” over decades.

Credit Suisse is a $23 billion a year company with 48,000 employees. Swiss Re is even bigger at $35 billion with under 13,000 employees. These are big players in global financial markets. So, what’s in it for them to research and take sides in the scientific controversy around low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets? A former Swiss Re head of health underwriting and claims explains.



LOOK WHO’S FIGHTING MEDICAL DIABETES GROWTH INDUSTRY!

The research team: left to right Chris Webster, Tamzyn Murphy Campbell, Prof Tim Noakes, Dr James Smith and Dr Salih Solomon. Picture: THE NOAKES FOUNDATION

By Marika Sboros

Many doctors and dietitians are still pessimistic about diabetes. They tell patients that diabetes is chronic, progressive and irreversible. They tell patients that they’ll need more drugs for the rest of their lives to manage their condition.

The Noakes Foundation has now received a full grant of R5.6 million (around $400 600) for ongoing research that could radically change that perception. That research is investigating reversal of diabetes through diet alone. It also aims straight at the heart of a powerful vested interest: the medical growth industry of diabetes.

It’s a big one – none bigger in the medical industry, says scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Its growth in profits last year alone was about 20%. “It is not interested in a possible cure or reversal of diabetes,” Noakes says. He has worked out who is protecting that industry’s commercial interests. Here’s who. 



IN PRAISE OF LOW-CARB: CANADIAN DOCTORS RISE UP AGAINST DOGMA!

fistBy Marika Sboros

This is big: nearly 200 doctors and allied health practitioners in Canada have signed an Open Letter to their government calling for urgent, radical reform of nutrition guidelines to include low-carb diets.

They say that authorities told Canadians to follow guidelines for nearly 40 years. During that time, nutrition-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, increased sharply. The doctors are also concerned about sharp increases in childhood obesity and diabetes rates.

They say that the evidence does not support conventional low-fat dietary advice. In fact, they say it worsens heart-disease risk factors. They say that those responsible must be free to compile dietary guidelines without food and drug industry influence. They want the guidelines to promote low-carb diets as “at least one safe, effective intervention” for people with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

At heart, the letter’s signatories call for mainstream medical advice to include low-carb, healthy-natural-fat. Here’s more of these doctors’ powerful challenge to orthodoxy.



FOR HEART’S SAKE, EAT SATURATED FAT: NORWAY SCIENTISTS

By Marika Sboros

Photo credit: mysza831 via Foter.com / CC BY

Norwegian researchers dispute the scientific pillar on which official dietary guidelines rest in most countries. It is the so-called diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease.

The hypothesis just happens to be the pillar on which the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) rests its case against scientist Tim Noakes. It also lies at the heart of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) muting of orthopaedic surgeon Gary Fettke. AHPRA doesn’t want Fettke talking to patients about sugar now or ever again.

The Norwegian study is a small, well-designed, randomised controlled trial (RCT). Scientists consider RCTs the “gold standard” of research. The study authors say that a very-high-fat diet reverses obesity and disease risk. They also say that experts have greatly exaggerated alleged health risks of saturated fat for hearts. Here’s more:



VICTORY FOR TEICHOLZ IN BATTLE OF BUTTER

Nina TeicholzBy Marika Sboros

US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz calls it “a victory for science.” South African scientist Tim Noakes says it proves that one person can “change the world.” I say it’s a decisive defeat for medical, scientific and dietetic establishments in their ongoing war against the critics.

The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) has announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation it published by Teicholz in September 2015. The feature documents in detail how the US Dietary Guidelines (DGAs) have ignored vast amounts of rigorous scientific evidence. This evidence is on key issues such as saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets.

Teicholz’s article has been the target of an unprecedented retraction effort that was organized by an advocacy group that has long defended those guidelines. The BMJ stance is becoming a lesson in unintended consequences for those attempting to stifle debate on the topic. It raises fundamental questions about who was behind the retraction effort and their motivation.



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?



Cyber bullying virus – infection spreads among doctors

By Marika Sboros

cyber bullyingSomething is rotten in the state of nutrition science. In parts, it’s terminally ill. One symptom is cyber bullying. It’s a virus that is infecting doctors and dietitians on an unprecedented scale. These health professionals are also using their associations to spread the virus further and target nutrition experts who challenge conventional nutrition “wisdom”.

They are active on Twitter and Facebook hate pages. Those are toxic and unprofessional environments for doctors and dietitians to inhabit.

Two bloggers have started a series aimed at naming and shaming cyber bullies. It’s rough stuff but could help to stop infection rates. Cyber bullying creates significant collateral damage. It causes depression, even among doctors. It leads victims to kill themselves. Here’s the first in the series.



Zinn to parents: Don’t feed cereals to your babies!

Caryn ZinnBy Marika Sboros

Parents should not feed cereals to their infants as first foods, says New Zealand-based dietitian and academic, Dr Caryn Zinn. Zinn (pictured right) said this in her evidence in chief at the trial of University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes,

It went to the heart of the matter of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against Noakes in Cape Town on October 26. Here, in Part 2 of a two-part series on her testimony, Zinn looks at what science has to say about foods that parents should give infants: 



TEICHOLZ: HOW FOOD INDUSTRY INFLUENCES DIETARY ADVICE

Nina Teicholz

In the final of a three-part series on the evidence US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz gave at the trial of scientist Tim Noakes, she covers the vexed world of nutrition science politics. Teicholz told the hearing that this helped to explain how and why people in positions of power and authority were able to ignore all the evidence that did not fit their favoured hypothesis.

“We know that the food industry is large and powerful and plays a role in our nutrition policy,” Teicholz said. She took 10 years of research and interviewed hundreds of executives for her groundbreaking book, The Big Fat Surprise.

Teicholz told how she came to realise just how profoundly the food industry has influenced and continues to influence science. Here’s more of what she had to say:



TEICHOLZ: HOW LOW-FAT DIETS CAN KILL YOU

Nina Teicholz

Nina Teicholz

By Marika Sboros

At the heart of the trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes is the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz focused on the hypothesis in her testimony in Noakes’ favour. That was at the fourth session of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing in Cape Town on October 25.

Teicholz showed how the creator of that hypothesis ignored evidence showing that sugar and others carbohydrate are far more likely causes of heart disease. Here, in Part 2 of a three-part series on her evidence, she shows why low-fat diets can be lethal. Teicholz also looks at the role of sugar in the rise of chronic diseases. 



NOAKES TRIAL: ‘ANGEL’ HARCOMBE AIMS AT ITS HEART

Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

By Marika Sboros

If South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes were enough to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the danger zone, British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe’s could fell them with a heart attack.

Noakes once memorably called statins “the single most ineffective drug ever invented”.  In her evidence at the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing in Cape Town, Harcombe called them “one of the biggest crimes against humanity that the pharmaceutical industry has unleashed”.

She also said health professionals have a duty to tell the public that advice the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) gives is biased in favour of industry. Here’s why:



NOAKES TRIAL: HPCSA FAILS TO CLIP ‘ANGELS’ WINGS

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

The first day of the fourth session of the nutrition trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes resumed on a note of high drama in Cape Town today. As I thought it might do, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) tried to stop Noakes calling two of his three expert witnesses. However, it failed – as I also thought it would.

The HPCSA also tried and failed to stop Noakes introducing new evidence in his own defence. Pretoria advocate Joan Adams, chair of the independent committee hearing the charge against Noakes, dismissed all the HPCSA objections. Here’s what she had to say:



NOAKES TRIAL: WILL HPCSA TRY TO CLIP TIM’S ANGELS’ WINGS?

Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes and his legal dream team must think all their birthdays have come at once. “Tim’s Angels”, the nutrition science equivalent of “Charlie’s Angels” in the hit TV series, are flying in to be expert witnesses for him in the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him.

Proudly South African-Kiwi academic Dr Caryn Zinn joins British obesity researcher and public health nutritionist Dr Zoë Harcombe, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.  When the HPCSA’s Kafkaesque trial of Noakes resumes in Cape Town on October 17, I expect the HPCSA to try to clip Tim’s Angels’ wings.



NOAKES TRIAL: COULD CARDIOLOGISTS BE AT ITS HEART?

By Marika Sboros

tim-noakesI’ve been thinking: could cardiologists be at the heart of the case against world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? The pun is intentional. Noakes really does seem to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the stratosphere with his views on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).

Noakes’ trial on a charge of unprofessional conduct resumes in Cape Town from October 17 to 26. That was for two tweets saying good first foods for infant weaning are LCHF. In other words, he was advising meat, eggs, dairy and veg.

The Health Professions Council of SA, assorted academics and doctors (especially cardiologists), and Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) dietitians think that advice is rotten. Here’s what UCT cardiologists say about Noakes and his reply:



Fasting – why it’s not just another F-word!

By Jean Fortunet (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marika Sboros

I’m not going out on a religious limb when I say this book will be the “bible” of fasting.

The Complete Guide to Fasting (Victory Belt) is by Canadian nephrologist  Dr Jason Fung and US Living La Vida Low-Carb blogger Jimmy Moore.

The sub-title is Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting. It is well-written, reader-friendly and delivers on all promises. It should be in every home. Here’s why:  



Chatterjee on curing modern medicine’s sickness

YRangan Chatterjeeou may know Dr Rangan Chatterjee as the star power of the BBC’s Doctor in the House TV series. He is also one of that rare breed in modern medicine: a doctor with an open heart and mind.

Chatterjee has been examining a deadly sickness in medicine today. Its major symptom is doctors who don’t know enough about nutrition. It is about doctors who can’t – or won’t – acknowledge the real root causes of patients’ ill health. Spoiler alert: it’s not a deficiency of drugs.

Here, Chatterjee looks at why doctors need more education. It begins with understanding that ‘the food you eat can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison’. – Marika Sboros