Tag: dietitians

Why are so many doctors so stupid about nutrition?

By Marika Sboros

Why are doctors so stupid – particularly about nutrition? It’s a question one of my favourite scientist doctors, US physician Michael Eades, has asked.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. More so recently after a ‘conversation’ with two paediatrician trolls on Twitter. (It was more like a testy, trivial exchange.)

These doctors live far apart – one in South Africa, the other in Canada. They could be twins when it comes to god complexes and willful ignorance about nutrition.

Of course, not all doctors are stupid when it comes to nutrition. And Eades says that stupid is not quite the right word to describe the dear medical souls who don’t know about nutrition. Ignorance is the word.



KENDRICK: SWEDEN GETS IT RIGHT WITH ‘IDIOT’ DIETITIANS

Malcolm KendrickTrust Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick to get down and dirty to the heart of medical ethical dilemmas. Kendrick doesn’t suffer fools gladly. In particular dietitian fools who dish out dangerous dogma for obesity and diabetes. He reserves special antipathy for dietitian fools who try to silence doctors who go against that dogma.  

Here, Kendrick’s focus is Sweden and dietitians’ unsuccessful attempt to muzzle Dr Annika Dahlqvist. It’s an earlier blog, but eerily relevant today. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency has banned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke from speaking to patients about diet. Dietitians complained that he was telling diabetics to avoid sugar. South African dietitians have joined forces with the Health Professions Council of SA to silence scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Kendrick makes a joke that is a serious commentary on the dietetic profession: ‘What do you call 500 dietitians lying at the bottom of the ocean?’  ‘A good start.’ – Marika Sboros



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 an instant 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:



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:  



Type 1 diabetes: when doctors’ good advice turns bad

doctor

By Marika Sboros

Here’s a fascinating blog that throws up an ethical dilemma for doctors, nurses and dietitians who dish out orthodox advice for type 1 diabetes.

The writer is Lemming Test-Pilot, the alter ego of a British GP who has type 1 diabetes. Last year, Lemming ditched “the almost impossible dark art of carbohydrate counting”, went on a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet and survived. Actually, Lemming  hasn’t just survived but has thrived in body and mind. And has been running half marathons faster ever since, even after fasting.

Doctors and nurses told Lemming to go on the wrong diet for type 1 diabetes for 20 years. Lemming is understandably miffed about that but says with admirable restraint: “Any other condition managed with the wrong treatment for 20 years would rightly merit a lawsuit. The guideline advisers are getting knighthoods.” Here is Lemming’s remarkable, poignant, real-life story:



Physician, heal thyself, learn nutrition!

Photo credit: clevercupcakes via Foter.com / CC BY

Here’s a brilliant blog everyone should read – doctors, patients, perfectly healthy people. It’s why doctors need to be frogmarched back to school if necessary to learn nutrition. I’ve always been puzzled (shocked really) that doctors aren’t taught nutrition in medical school. That they don’t routinely ask patients what they are eating that is keeping them fat and sick. It’s as if the medical powers that be (who are wedded to the pharmaceutical model) don’t want doctors to know food can be the most powerful, safest medicine or slowest poison (as Lithuanian–American holistic health practitioner Ann Wigmore once said). My ancient forebear Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, must be gyrating in his grave at how doctors defer to dietitians – and both defer to food and drug industries. Below is a shortened version of the blog by British health journalist and author Jerome Burne. Scroll to the end for a link to the full version. – Marika Sboros

By Jerome Burne*

Here’s a really bad idea. Send a dozen nutritionists to work alongside regular doctors in a Medecins Sans Frontières team providing emergency treatment to the wounded in a war zone:



Britain’s ‘fat wars’: PHC warriors take up low-carb arms

By Marika Sboros

stormtrooperBritain’s “fat wars” are spreading, as sporadic skirmishes break out between the newly created independent Public Health Collaboration (PHC) and the establishment Public Health England (PHE).

The latest salvo was the PHC’s inaugural annual conference in Birmingham on June 11. The stellar panel of speakers drew heavy armoury of scientific research to challenge conventional public health advice and call for a complete overhaul of the UK’s official dietary guidelines. 

A leitmotif running through the conference came through a study by one of the conference speakers, top British obesity researcher Dr Zoe Harcombe, published in the BMJ Open Heart in 2015. It showed that the US guidelines on which the UK’s guidelines are based, were without scientific foundation when first introduced in the late 1970s, and remain so today. Results have been catastrophic: 



NOAKES: DISHING UP ‘REAL MEAL’ DIRT ON ‘DOCTORS OF DISEASE

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes

Prof Tim Noakes

Many doctors “have outsourced their  brains to the pharmaceutical industry”, says University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes. Ditto for dietitians who belong to the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA). They dismiss the nutritional approach to disease prevention without even reading the literature, he says.

Here, in the second of a two-part Q&A, Noakes looks at why modern medicine has created many “doctors of disease”, not health. He  fingers the real medical “criminals”. These are the doctors who, he says, will ultimately prove to be responsible for killing their patients because of their commitment to conventional medical “wisdom”. 



You need 5-a-day fruit and veg? No you don’t! – Zoë Harcombe

fruit.veg

5-A-DAY fruit and veg servings – it’s a mantra doctors and dietitians repeat to patients as if it’s written in stone somewhere. They even say you can drink most of those servings, and that fruit and veg juices are instant boosts for your health. Yet 5-a-day has no science behind it whatsoever, says British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. It’s a number plucked out of thin air, a memorable number, she says, the same  as the digits on one hand. (Presumably, those who came up with it think that makes it easier for people to count servings?) The campaign is a different number-a-day across more than 25 countries, she says. Some say three, others four, five or more.  Harcombe’s not saying you shouldn’t eat fruit and veg. Just don’t believe the magical health benefits doctors and dietitians promise you because there isn’t any science to show there will be. During my last visit to London, the British government told its citizens that fruit juice should no longer be part of 5-a-day servings – because of the high sugar content. Harcombe says’s she’ll only drink a toast to that advice when …



CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT? HARCOMBE BUSTS DIET MYTHS

obesityMany dietitians say that all you have to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more. They also say you must avoid saturated fat like the plague because it clogs arteries and causes heart disease. And they say that meat is bad, carbs are good and you should eat at least five-a-day fruit and veg.

Those are some of the diet myths that make you fatter and sicker, says UK public health researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. 

Those myths make dietitians increasingly irrelevant. They also contribute to the obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemics across the globe, says Harcombe. She demolishes myths in her brilliant e-book, 20 Diet Myths – Busted. Scroll to end for details on where to get it. Here, she gives 12 of those myths in bite-size pieces – Marika Sboros



Can you trust dietitians who are in bed with Big Food?

Weight Loss Signpost Showing Fiber Exercise Fruit And CaloriesShould you follow advice from dietitians who are bed partners with the food industry? Even when they say it’s just for the sponsorship money, and food companies have no influence on their advice whatsoever? 

The spotlight falls often on the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA), but it’s  a global concern. Food companies exert influence subtly through orthodox-trained dietitians who act as proxies whether by default or design. British investigative health journalist Jerome Burne has written a scathing blog on it: Cuddly dietitians in cosy embrace of industry fat cats.

In the first of a two-part series, Eategrity consumer activist  Sonia Mountford looks at ADSA’s links with Big Food and what effect this may be having on the advice it gives. But do you really need independent dietary advice? As an ancient Ayurvedic sage once said: When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is right, medicine is of no need. – Marika Sboros

By Sonia Mountford*

Like many consumers, you are likely to be more aware these days than you were in the past, of what certain foods or food components may be doing to promote your health, and reduce your



Dr Jason Fung on doctors who betray patients’ trust

Doctors moneyYOU don’t expect your doctor or dietitian to collude with food companies in spinning yarns about health benefits of their products. It’s called ‘healthwashing’.  Many doctors and dietitians collude by accepting sponsorship from Big Food for research or to run their voluntary associations.

Dr Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University has said that ‘sponsorship perverts science’.

Here, Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung takes an even bleaker look. He unravels how and why doctors, by default or design, regularly betray patients’ trust. – Marika Sboros