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

By Malcolm Kendrick

I sometimes think that I should go and live in a Scandinavian country. They get so many things right about how to run healthy, equitable, societies. In addition, the people who live there seem more balanced and frankly, more grown up.

So it comes as no surprise to me that if a nation were to turn round and begin the process of rejecting the absolute nonsense that a high-fat diet is bad for you, then it would be a country in Scandinavia.

That Scandinavian country is Sweden.

Dr Annika Dahlqvist
Dr Annika Dahlqvist

Now, I have been aware that there has been a movement towards a high-fat, low-carb diet (HFLC)  in Sweden for some years. The heroic Dr Annika Dahlqvist led the movement. She’s a GP who has been advising her diabetic patients to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF).

Of course, she was attacked by the idiots, sorry experts.

“In 2007, the controversy began when two dieticians pointed out to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare that LCHF dietary advice Dr Annika Dahlqvist recommended to patients was not compatible with either scientific evidence or conventional practice. However, following a report by diabetologist Dr Christian Berne, Dahlqvist was cleared.”

Cleared of what, exactly? Advising diabetic patients not to eat sugar. The mere fact that anyone could be dragged in front of the authorities for advising this just shows how completely mad the world of dietary advice has become. How entrenched the idiotic anti-fat dogma now is.

How utterly divorced from reality and science.

As I have pointed out many times on this blog, and elsewhere, the body converts carbohydrates, at least all the carbohydrates humans can digest, to sugar(s) in the GI system. It has to, because all that carbohydrates consist of are different numbers of sugar molecules bonded together in different ways. When you break them to bits in the digestive system, they become simple sugars.

As we all know, people with diabetes have problems with high blood sugar levels. So, dum de dum….let me think.  Should diabetics eat carbohydrates/sugar, or should they eat fats?

Yes, you are right, they should eat fats. This is a complete no-brainer.



But, of course, the argument goes that diabetics are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.  And eating fat increases cholesterol levels, and this increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Well, this could obviously be a problem if any part of that causal chain were true. But it is all nonsense.

As the latest Swedish report from the SBU (Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment) makes clear (after reviewing 13,000 studies), a low-carb diet leads to the terrible dangers of

“…a greater increase in HDL cholesterol without having any adverse effects on LDL cholesterol.This applies to both the moderate low-carbohydrate intake of less than 40% of the total energy intake, as well as to the stricter low-carb diet. That’s one where carbohydrate intake is less than 20% of the total energy intake. In addition, the stricter low-carb diet will lead to improved glucose levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and to marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.”



In short, when they looked at all the evidence, they found that (LCHF) diets raise HDL cholesterol (the so-called “good” cholesterol). They have no effect on LDL levels (so-called “bad cholesterol”). They also lower blood sugar levels and triglyceride (VLDL) levels. All good and healthy. It  basically means reduced insulin resistance  – the underlying cause of diabetes.

All that the Swedes really “discovered” is the quite astonishing fact that eating a high-carbohydrate diet is bad for you. And that it is worse for you if you are a diabetic. Well, blow me down with a feather.

They have found exactly what a working knowledge of human biology/physiology would tell you would happen.

But we live in a world controlled by entrenched stupidity, dogma, and the financial interests of massive companies who are making billions selling tasteless low-fat mush. These companies know that the only way you can make low-fat food, eg low-fat yogurt, taste like anything half palatable is to stuff it with sugar.

Malcolm KendrickCheap, nasty, and damaging to health – also driving  ever-increasing weight gain and diabetes in the Western World.

Why is everyone in the Western World becoming obese? Because we are replacing fat with sugar in many foodstuffs. The obesity “epidemic” started at exactly the same time as the idiots, sorry experts, decreed that a healthy diet was full of carbs. Which was, and remains, the exact and complete opposite of the truth.

However, anyone who dares to state the truth gets dragged in front of organisations such as Sweden’s National Board of health and Welfare. Eventually, however, the truth does emerge, as it must because the truth never dies. You can stomp on it, squash it, concrete over or napalm it.

However, it lives on, taunting those who do everything in their power to deny its existence.

The truth is that all of the dietary advice the idiots, sorry experts, have bombarded us with for the last 40 years about the dangers of fat consumption has been utterly and completely and damagingly wrong. Of course, there will be a backlash against the Swedish report – there always is.

Various powerful idiots, sorry experts, will be pushed in front of cameras to make various denunciations of the Swedes and their damaging and dangerous conclusions. Faceless marketers in companies that promote low-fat spreads and the like will jerk the strings of these idiots.

Yes, you know who you are. And yes, this stuff does make me angry. It is killing people prematurely, millions of people all around the world.

P.S: Question: What do you call 500 dietitians lying at the bottom of the ocean?

Answer: A good start.



  1. In Australia it is against the law to avoid tax, but to minimise tax is okay. Perhaps the Dr’s should advise patients to minimise their sugar/carbohydrate intake rather than use the word avoid?

    I also like Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, who said,
    First they ignore you,
    Then they laugh at you,
    Then they fight you,
    Then you win.

  2. I am just so glad I do not have you as my doctor. If I had followed your nutritional advice, I would be dead already. So glad that I have the dieticians who have been providing sound nutritional advice and my diabetes mellitus is well-controlled. I still enjoy a small amount of sugar in my diet and have a very balanced diet. I have met many others in my support group who are also doing well with the advice from the dieticians. So I am sorry I have to disagree with you.

  3. Chris C – I do nothing of the sort. I simply question whether a medical qualification is sufficient to give dietary advice. Why do you put words in my mouth but don’t address my comments? If you are so confident that LC is superior – where are the data?

    • “Look through this telescope”

      “I have no need Mr Galileo for I already know what I shall see”

      “Obesity has increased roughly in line with an increase in fat consumption”

      “glucose can provide energy fairly rapidly in contrast to fat” yes exactly the problem

      “The role of fat is much more complicated as it is not only an energy store but also used for protection and insulation – but more importantly, there appears to be very little interconversion between the two” you are delusional

      “One result of very low carbohydrate consumption is that the brain will have to use ketone-bodies. What is the long term effect of this? ” ask evolution, we spent millions of years in and out of ketosis and we still aren’t extinct (yet)

      “Whether physicians should give nutritional advice depends on their education: many medical schools have a very poor track record of teaching nutrition. In my experience, there is not much knowledge about clinical nutrition in those who are not directly involved and the knowledge about general nutrition is equally limited.”

      One valid statement at last. Dietician training is no better, they are mostly trained to follow dogma unquestioningly and ignore outcomes.

      Yet when doctors and yes a small but increasing number of dieticians actually Know Stuff they come under merciless attack. Worse still for patients who dare to use “Dr Google” or follow “cranks on the internet” like Ron Krauss (past president of the AHA) or numerous (and increasing) professors, Volek, Phinney, Noakes . . .

      “BTW, diabetes type 2 had a prevalence of ~1% in the 50s, that’s hardly a curiosity.”

      What is it now? 10% or more and that’s just the DIAGNOSED diabetics – diabetes is not diagnosed until 50% of pancreatic beta cells are lost. Now add in all the people On The Diabetic Progression who have so far only lost less than 49% of their beta cells and ask yourself

      “Where the hell did they all come from?” – and why did this suddenly start to increase when low fat diets were invented?

      If you can answer that question we may finally be getting somewhere.

  4. I’m utterly surprised: the previous article criticised cyber-bullying, name calling and other things. And here, we have exactly that. Dietitians should be at the bottom of the sea. Those critical of low-carb diets are idiots. Is this another irregular verb? You bully, I tell it as it is?

    • When millions of lives are adversely affected and the people doing it fail to take responsibility for their failure, and worse take the medical licences of people who succeed?

    • Basil, the “What do you call 500 dietitians . . .?” comment is clearly a joke, which is appropriate to a profession that tells diabetics to eat plenty of carbohydrates (glucose) and low-fat food. In relation to diabetics, this advice is idiotic on steroids. It’s hardly less stupid for the rest of us.

      The lamentable calibre of dietitians was repeatedly demonstrated at the Noakes hearing.

      • The advice does not result in a worse outcome than low-carb if adhered to properly; this is what most studies very clearly show. Just because something fits an ideology does not mean it is correct – and low-carb seems to me to be more an ideology than anything else. All data I have seen – and we have recently conducted a systematic review as part of an exercise – does not support the superiority and indeed suggested that unqualified dietary advice (such as given by a doctor without proper training) can cause harm.

        I can’t really comment on the Noakes hearing as I haven’t read the protocol – but I’m a bit surprised that one of the defence witnesses allegedly claimed that fibre is a likely cause of cancer, something that contradicts all known evidence; but that might be wrong.

        But this is beside the point: the topic in a previous post was cyberbullying and insults: if one is against those, shouldn’t one be against those in all instances? Treating each other with respect should not be based on opinion – I can disagree with someone and still remain polite and especially refrain from making disparaging comments or jokes.

        • Basil: The data is all around if you care to look. Look at your fellow human beings. What does this tell you? I don’t know where you are located, but here in the U.S. are millions who have “adhered to properly” the dietary advice of the American Diabetes Association, and this has clearly made their condition worse. This advice is essentially to eat all the starchy foods you wish; you can fix it with insulin. Our dietary guidelines were not brought to us by dietitians, but by a vegetarian aide to Senator George McGovern who had trained as a journalist, with the assistance of the agricultural behemoths. Dietitians now enforce these guidelines with a vengeance to the clear detriment of our nation’s health. Perhaps you are too young to remember when type 2 diabetes was a rare condition and obesity a curiosity. This was so before all of this nutritional nonsense was shoved down everyone’s throat. Read Denise Minger’s Death by Food Pyramid to understand how we’ve gone so terribly wrong. As for humour, after sex and music, it is the best thing in life. Keeps us humble and laughing. As for honorable physicians, who are real doctors healing patients, being mistreated by the authorities, this is a heinous crime. Anyone with a scrap of decency should stand up for them.

          • What he says! When even the checkout girls at the supermarket have noticed the fat people buying their “low-fat” foods and becoming steadily fatter; while all the fit healthy old folks (like me) can be found in the butchers, the veg shops and the farm shops, I am quite incredulous that “healthcare professionals” care so little about health that they continue to perpetrate the same failure. And when they see a patient or a doctor doing significantly better they tell them to “stop it at once!”

          • Obesity has increased roughly in line with an increase in fat consumption, but is essentially a function of energy intake, whether it is fat or carbohydrates. The traditional human diet is largely based on carbohydrates – pre 1900 they were the main energy source – and this is not surprising: glucose can provide energy fairly rapidly in contrast to fat. The role of fat is much more complicated as it is not only an energy store but also used for protection and insulation – but more importantly, there appears to be very little interconversion between the two.

            When I look at the data for low-carb diets in the same way I look at the data from my own research area (which incidentally is linked to public health, albeit in a very different area) I have to say that I don’t consider it to be strong enough to warrant action. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t work – it just means that it doesn’t appear to be superior to current recommendations but there are very little information on long term safety. One result of very low carbohydrate consumption is that the brain will have to use ketone-bodies. What is the long term effect of this? Under certain conditions, the body will have to up-regulate gluconeogenesis – and as fat is a very poor precursor, it has to use protein. What is the effect of higher protein turnover – again in the long time?

            Whether physicians should give nutritional advice depends on their education: many medical schools have a very poor track record of teaching nutrition. In my experience, there is not much knowledge about clinical nutrition in those who are not directly involved and the knowledge about general nutrition is equally limited. And this is not surprising: physicians do specialise and no-one would expect a neurosurgeon to treat lymphoma or an ophthalmologist to perform a c-section. Why do we suddenly expect that all physicians can advice on nutrition and have expert knowledge? My colleagues would generally object to me giving their patients advice – and vice versa.

            BTW, diabetes type 2 had a prevalence of ~1% in the 50s, that’s hardly a curiosity.

          • “Keep doing the same thing, next time the results will be different”

            I hate to break it to you but the world doesn’t work like that. Meanwhile you are determined to stop doctors who have more Clue from using it even to the extent of pulling their licences. And you wonder why people become angry and frustrated???

  5. 500 dieticians at the bottom of the sea? My sympathies would be with the fish.

    They’d be a high fat food all right, but if they’re eating the “conventionally” farmed mass-produced grain-, soy -and sugar-based foodstuffs they advertise on the websites of their various associations then I suggest they’ll be toxic. Same as grain-fed cattle really.

    I jest but this aspect of the food supply is serious matter:

    And I guarantee you that most dieticians are almost completely ignorant of the whole issue of good quality in general.

  6. Gary Ogden,this all sounds interesting, plausible and worth considering…… unlike the totally discredited hypothesis of ‘Dr’ Wakefield, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked. You do Dr Kendrick a disservice by mentioning the two in the same sentence.

    • Mike Bywater: In fact our very own CDC tested the Wakefield Hypothesis (in a study of Atlanta schoolchildren completed in 2001) and confirmed it; that is, it is the timing which is crucial. They found that African American boys who received the MMR prior to 36 months had a 2.64 increased risk of regressive autism (HR 3.64), and an even higher risk among all boys for isolated autism, that is, autism without any comorbidity. This wouldn’t do, so they spent more than a year massaging the data to make the signal go away (ultimately removing the data from 40% of the cohort to eliminate the statistical significance of the findings). They then gathered in a meeting room and threw all of the original material in a big garbage can, all but one of the five coauthors of the study, Dr. William S. Thompson, who retained copies of everything because he knew what they were doing was unethical and illegal. He then hired a whistleblower attorney. All of this is a matter of public record, and its the subject of the film Vaxxed, and the book, Vaccine Whistleblower. And there it stands today.

      Congress is too cowardly to issue the subpoena for Dr Thompson to testify (the only way, as a federal employee, that he can) because they know which side their bread is buttered on. Pharma owns the machinery of our government, and all the media, as well. The findings of Dr Wakefield, Professor Walker Smith, and the eleven other coauthors of the Lancet paper concerning gut dysbiosis comorbid with autism has been replicated in the US, Canada, Venezuela, and Australia, and it is now estimated to occur in between 70% and 90% of those so afflicted. Dr Andrew Wakefield is one of the most decent, honorable scientists the UK has ever produced. He was bushwhacked by disreputable elements in the British ruling class to protect the profits of SKB, and for no other reason.

      Dr Malcolm Kendrick is one of the finest physicians Scotland has ever produced. If you visit his blog you will see dozens of comments I have made, several of them concerning vaccines, and one putting both of these fine men on a pedestal of deep respect. He knows better than to touch the subject of vaccine policy as it is more deadly in the UK than even here, if that is possible. However, he does not censor points of view as long as there are no personal attacks. Dr Wakefield was the first shot across the bow (excluding Dr Semmelweis). Now they are going after Dr Sears, Dr Noakes, and Dr Fettke. Do a bit of research and you will be horrified at what quackery vaccination is and always has been. I suggest you begin with The Genetic and Environmental Causes of Autism, by James Lyons-Weiler, PhD.

      • Gary Ogden: this is complete nonsense. Never happened. Wakefield is a fraud and a liar and caused disease, disability, and deaths by frightening people off vaccines. Why are you perpetuating his bullshit?

        • Lee Fleming: All that I have written is the truth. Ignorance is no excuse for shamelessly attacking a man who respects parents, children, and does good science. Are you a parent? Are your children vaccinated? Do they show no obvious sign of vaccine injury? If so, you are fortunate. In my cohort virtually everyone had measles, mumps, chickenpox, and all the rest, and developed robust immune systems as a result. Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963, the mortality rate was exceedingly low: 1-2/100.000. The mortality rate from the MMR is much higher than that. Vaccines do not provide immunity; they merely provide profits. Vaccines are pharma’s growth industry. In 2015, revenues from vaccines exceeded revenues from pharmaceuticals for the first time, and the disparity is continuing to grow. India has been declared “polio free,” but thanks to Bill Gates and WHO, there are 10.4 million paralyzsed children in India, paralysed with what, in my childhood, was called polio, most of them from the mass vaccination programme, along with industrial and agricultural chemical exposure. The autism rate in the US is now one in 45. This is a man-made holocaust, caused by the drug industry and their craven and cowardly enablers in the government.

          • Thank you for your input, Gary and Lee. I am closing this debate thread now as it applies to vaccines as that is not the focus of Dr Kendrick’s blog. The focus here is bad nutrition advice from dietitians that is compounding epidemics of serious diseases worldwide, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

  7. Even though Sweden has this SBU report and Dr Annika Dahlqvist who was cleared, they struggle just as much as any country when it comes to lower carbs and eat more fat. The Swedish health authority doesn’t agree and still promotes low-fat. But more and more of the Swedish people understand and eat low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).

    • Agreed. I credit Sweden’s brilliant “Diet doctor”, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt for carrying on Dr Drahlqvist’s groundbreaking work. If you don’t know him, follow him on his Diet Doctor website at once! A fascinating read.

      • Sweden’s “diet doctors”, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, is doing great work and those who promote low-fat calls him a dangerous man. I read all his posts.

  8. Marika: Thank you for this!. It is one of Dr. Kendrick’s best. He, along with Dr. Wakefield, is my favorite physician. It makes me hopeful to know that the Mother Country still produces people with guts and intelligence. On this side of the pond medical professionals with integrity get shouted down by the propaganda operation which our media has become in its entirety, though it is not so bad here as in Australia or South Africa. Here, questioning vaccine policy merits a sentence to purgatory, but proper diet is considered a fit subject for debate, and few outside the government bureaucracy and the Harvard School of Public Health believe the food guide pyramid rot any longer. Sad, though, that schoolchildren are still fed, and food programs for the poor still provide, this junk; this will take decades to change, as legislators never correct their mistakes; instead, they often make them worse. Five hundred government officials and media titans at the bottom of the ocean would be an even worse diet for the poor sharks.

    • Propaganda, yes. This all reminds me of the Nazis “Anyvun found supportink zee reziztance vill be shot, and their village vill be exterminated”

      vs. “Anyone supporting low carb will lose their licence and their patients shall be put on low fat” irrespective of the health consequences – which is what dieticians are actually supposed to be about.

    • Even in Australia, the forces of truth are growing. Senators and brave doctors are standing up for Dr Fettke. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is feeling the heat. The truth really will out. It’s what it is naturally designed to do, even if it takes time Down Under.

  9. 500 Dietitians on the bottom of the ocean…. Shark Food

    But, You are what you eat, and as some shark species are endangered it would be irresponsible to deliberately feed them food so devoid of nutrition / Intelligence…

    • Dietitians would be high fat though. Oh, how non-PC. But like Dr Jason Fung I’ve seen photos of dietitians at their conferences and the food provided, and put two and two together.

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