Tag: obesity

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?



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.



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



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: ‘IT’S UNETHICAL FOR DIETITIANS NOT TO ADVISE LCHF’

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin 'Rocky' Ramdass

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin ‘Rocky’ Ramdass

By Marika Sboros

Three things embarrass New Zealand-based dietitian and academic Dr Caryn Zinn most these days. At university, she never questioned what lecturers said about diet. In her private practice, she prescribed low-fat diets to adults and children for 15 years.  As a university lecturer, she told students low-carb diets were dangerous.

Zinn said this in her evidence led by Advocate Dr Ravin “Rocky” Ramdass, for University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes, at the fourth session of Health Professions Council Of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him on October 26.

In Part 1 of a two-part series on her evidence in chief, she explains why she believes that it’s unethical for dieitians who know about  LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) not to offer it as an option to patients.



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:



Sugar barometer: how much sweetness are you eating?

chocolate

By Marika Sboros

The Sugar Barometer™ is a sweet idea whose time has come. It’s a labeling product that aims to change sugar consumption patterns in South Africa and globally

It’s the fruits of the Noakes Foundation’s education arm, the Eat Better SA campaign. The Barometer follows the debate around whether a sugar tax can realistically reduce obesity rates:



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



NOAKES TRIAL: EXPERTS FLYING IN TO SUPPORT THE SCIENCE

Picture: ROB TATE

By Marika Sboros

When the Kafkaesque trial of world-renowned South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes resumes in Cape Town in October 2016, two heavyweight international expert witnesses will testify for him: Cambridge University graduate Dr Zoë Harcombe, a British public health nutritionist, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.

The country’s regulatory body, the Health Professions Council of SA, has charged Noakes with unprofessional conduct for his views on diet. Here’s what you can look forward to in this strange scientific saga that has garnered worldwide attention: 



NOAKES IN HIS OWN WORDS: ‘WHY I CHOOSE TO GO ON TRIAL – Part 2

Tim NoakesUniversity of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes loves challenging convention and being challenged.  ‘It’s when I learn,’ he says. Noakes has challenged conventional ‘wisdom’ seven times in his distinguished career. He has been proved right six times. He expects the same to happen when he goes back on trial in October 2016 in his latest challenge: to conventional ‘wisdom’ on diet. In the second of a 2-part series,  he reveals what really drives him. – Marika Sboros



NOAKES IN HIS OWN WORDS: ‘WHY I CHOOSE TO GO ON TRIAL’ – Part 1

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

World-renowned scientist  Prof Tim Noakes will be back on trial in Cape Town on October 17, 2016, for his views on eggs, bacon and broccoli. Expect more revelations in what is being called the “Nutrition Trial of the 21st Century”

It has dragged on since February 2014 when Johannesburg dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom first reported him to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA). That was for two tweets telling a breastfeeding mother that good first foods are low-carb, high-fat (LCHF). Noakes could have made this strange saga disappear by deregistering as a medical doctor. Instead, here in the first of a 2-part series, Noakes explains why he has chosen to go on trial:



Always hungry? Ludwig on feeling full without getting fat

HungerWhen it comes to nutrition, Harvard professor Dr David Ludwig restores flagging faith in that  formerly revered research institution. Ludwig’s latest book, Always Hungry? is a weight loss game-changer. Or should be, all things being equal. In nutrition science, all things are not equal. Food and drug companies still have undue influence on official dietary guidelines. They are one reason the influential US dietary guidelines survive despite little science to prop them up. Ditto for the dietary advice in the many countries that follow the US guidelines slavishly.

Ludwig is that rare species: a medical doctor who is also a nutrition expert. He is also not afraid to go up against conventional high-carb, low-fat ‘wisdom’. For weight loss and to beat hunger pangs, Ludwig is not on the extreme end of the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) spectrum. Here, US physician and world-renowned LCHF pioneer Dr Michael Eades explains why Ludwig’s book is ‘the most comprehensive on low-carb dieting published to date’. And if you have a friend or family member struggling with weight, why it’s quite simply ‘the best book you could give them’. – Marika Sboros



Is this proof evidence-based medicine is terminally ill?

Doctors money

Doctors and dietitians love to say the advice they dish out on diet is ‘evidence-based’. The evidence for that leaves a very bad taste in some researchers’ mouths. They say that in its current state, evidence-based medicine props up official dietary guidelines. These guidelines have contributed to the unnecessary suffering and premature deaths of millions worldwide. They say that in nutrition, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has done an excellent job – mostly of improving some scientists, doctors, dietitians and pharmaceutical and food companies’ bottom lines. 

US biochemistry professor Dr Richard Feinman is a vociferous critic of the current state of EBM and the influential US dietary guidelines that draw on it. Feinman is professor at SUNY (State University of New York) Medical School’s department of cell biology. He agrees that EBM is little more than ‘the position of experts on one lucrative side of a scientific conflict’. Here, he dissects EBM with surgical, scientific precision, to expose its inability to save lives from the growing pandemics of obesity and diabetes. – Marika Sboros.



Calorie craziness: dishing up the real dirt on CICO!

CaloriesWhat’s with our obsession with the calorie? Do we even really know what we are talking about when we fuss about calories? My favourite health blogger and ‘reluctant nutritionist’ Sammy Pepys dishes up the dirt on the CICO model – calories in, calories out. Here’s why calories can’t make you fat – even if they wanted to. And what you really need to fuss about. – Marika Sboros

By Sammy Pepys*

Have you been eating all those tasty calories again? Recent media headlines such as: Is it our fault if we eat too many calories? (an article in The Conversation) and Britons under-report calorie intake (on BBC TV show how the ‘C’ word dominates our thinking on diets, obesity and many other health matters. Let’s get some things straight about calories:



Radical! Rebel doctors, data geeks reject ‘rule book’ to beat diabesity

DEATHConventional medical treatment to beat obesity and diabetes clearly isn’t working. Both conditions are pandemic, so much so that doctors now call them diabesity. Conventional ‘wisdom’ about the reasons for diabesity isn’t proving very helpful or very clever.

Now, a radical, ‘rag tag’  group of Canadian and South African doctors and data ‘geeks’ has thrown out the research ‘rule book’ in their small but ground-breaking study just published in the South African Journal of Medicine (SAMJ). They say the staunch faith most doctors still have in classic randomized trials is misplaced. So-called  ‘evidence-based medicine’ that doctors are supposed to rely on isn’t working to treat or beat the diabesity pandemics. 

Their inspiration is Prof John Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine. Ioannidis says powerful vested interests have “hijacked” evidence-based medicine and made medicine a ‘threat to public health’. The group knows they are up against doctors who are not ready to face some inconvenient truths.  Jerome Burne is an award-winning British journalist who has been specialising in medicine and health for the last 10 years. Here, Burne looks at why these ‘research mavericks’ are ushering in a research revolution and why they will need all the help they can get. It’s a vital read for anyone concerned with health. – Marika Sboros



Harvard’s hungry voice of nutrition sanity – David Ludwig!

Dr David Ludwig

Dr David Ludwig

Like many people, I used to be in awe of Harvard University Medical School. Until increasingly odd science began emanating from luminaries Harvard’s hallowed research halls. In 2009 the New York Times published reports on the ties of Harvard professors and lecturers to drug companies. Time magazine picked it up in how drug industry money is tainting medical education. Harvard appears increasingly impervious to dodgy behaviour of some professors. They seem to think it’s in their job description to muzzle scientific debate that opposes powerful vested interests.

Getting some Harvard professors to understand how iffy that is appears extraordinarily difficult. A quote by the late US investigative journalist and author Upton Sinclair springs unbidden mind. ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!’ Medical doctor and Harvard nutrition specialist Dr David Ludwig helps to restore faith in Harvard. Here, blogger and ‘reluctant nutritionist’ Sammy Pepys looks at how Ludwig maintains his influential independent thought and mind on nutrition. – Marika Sboros



Gary Fettke turns into ‘Australia’s Tim Noakes’!

Dr Gary Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke

By Marika Sboros

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has banned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke from giving nutrition advice. It has done so after a two-year “investigation” into Fettke’s qualifications.

Overnight they’ve turned him into “Australia’s Tim Noakes”.  Elements of this case mirror the  Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) case against Prof Tim Noakes. Noakes is a world-renowned scientist and medical doctor. Both  cases open up a medical Pandora’s box. Both go to the heart of what it means to be a real “doctor of medicine”. Thus,  these cases are also about who is best qualified to give nutrition advice.