Tag: dietary guidelines

Noakes celebrates anniversary: victory over diet mobsters

Prof Tim Noakes receives a  standing ovation in London in 2018, with Dr Aseem Malhotra (centre) and Dr Peter Brukner (right)

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes celebrated a remarkable anniversary recently. It was June 8, 2018, a year since he became a free man, legally speaking.

On that day, the legal sword of Damocles that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) had dangled over his head for more than four years, disappeared.

Given its behaviour so far, the HPCSA did what many thought it wouldn’t do on that day. It dismissed its prosecution lawyers’ appeal against its comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017.

The HPCSA’s own appeal committee confirmed the not-guilty ruling in its entirety. It found Noakes not guilty on all 10 aspects of a charge of unprofessional conduct. Click here to read a report and the full decision. That decision reverberates to this day through medical, dietetic and scientific fraternities globally.

Noakes and I have included a chapter on the appeal in our new book, Real Food On Trial. The subtitle says it all: How the diet dictators tried to destroy a top scientist (Columbus, 2019). It’s an update of Lore of Nutrition, Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs (Penguin 2017).



Shawn Baker: heavyweight medicine man in praise of meat

BakerVITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

US physician and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Shawn Baker once dreamt of owning a cheesecake factory. He also dreamt of being able to eat all the cheese and sweets he wanted.

He has come a long way since his birth in Hof, a small West German town on the Czech border to an American father in the US Air Force and a South African mother. Ironically, given Baker’s vigorously anti-sugar stance these days, his mother hailed from a family with links to Hullett’s. The company remains dominant in South Africa’s powerful sugar industry.

In a Q&A Vital Signs profile, Baker tells how he conquered his chronically sweet tooth on his medical journey. He also tells how fought off establishment attacks after he advised his obese, diabetic patients to change their diets – and eat more meat – to reduce the needs for drugs and invasive surgery.



Facebook: real reason for take-down of top low-carb group?

By Marika Sboros

What’s really behind Facebook’s deletion of one of its biggest low-carb groups, the Banting 7 Day Meal Plans? The social media titan’s responses leave more questions than answers.

Did interests opposed to low-carb therapies sabotage the group? Did Facebook assist that agenda without checking for conflicts of interest?

Facebook claims that a “user” hacked and deleted the group. That made the deletion “voluntary” from within, it says. If so, what does that mean for the personal data of the group’s more than 1,6million users?

There are 1.1 million South African “Banters” – as supporters of low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) therapies are known in that country. The rest are scattered across the planet. Could the hack have compromised their data? Could the user have hacked Facebook as well?

Facebook has gone to great lengths to suggest otherwise. It reinstated the group on May 17 but not before its sudden removal on May 14 went viral. That precipitated a tsunami of protest from users and supporters around the world on Facebook and Twitter.



Malhotra takes aim at heart of media statin support

By Marika Sboros

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has been haemorrhaging readers for years.

The newspaper’s recent uncritical support for medical orthodoxy and dogma around diet, nutrition, drugs and cardiovascular disease hasn’t helped. Its treatment of ongoing controversy around cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins is raising red ethical flags.

Britain’s leading cardiologists, Dr Aseem Malhotra, is demanding that The Guardian retract its online article by health editor Sarah Boseley. Under the headline Butter nonsense: rise of the cholesterol deniers, it aims right at the heart of Malhotra’s credibility and professional integrity.

Malhotra has lodged a written complaint with The Guardian’s editor in chief, Katharine Viner. He has included the UK’s Independent Press Standards Organisation’s Board and Complaints Committee.



Exercise: you’re never too busy for its magic!

44th US President Barack Obama gets incidental exercise with his dog, Bo.

By Marika Sboros

I’m a big fan of exercise – as we all should be. It makes, or should make, intuitive sense that exercise is good for overall health. Exercise builds endurance and keeps you supple and strong as you age

It also makes, or should make, sense that exercise is not the best weight loss tool. Despite what many MDs and dietitians still say.

They want you to believe that obesity the result of gluttony and sloth. That all you have to do to lose weight is eat less and move more.  That’s just food and drug industry propaganda.

It is not possible to outrun or outexercise bad diet.

And like many of us, you might think you are too busy to exercise. You’ve got that wrong. It’s dead easy to fit regular, incidental exercise. Take a leaf out of 44th US president Barack Obama’s lifestyle book, for starters.



THE DIET FIX: FINALLY, ‘LAST WORD’ IN WEIGHT LOSS!

Picture: Dreamstime

By Marika Sboros

Are you battling to lose weight? Confused by the minefield of conflicting nutrition and weight-loss advice out there?

Or simply and seriously concerned with your health or the health of those you care about?

If so,  this book is for you.

The Diet Fix is by British public health and obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. The sub-title says it all: How to lose weight and keep it off… One last time!

On the front cover, British consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra calls The Diet Fix “a gamechanger”. It is that and more.



Kendrick, Wikipedia and ‘dark forces’ waging war on science

By Marika Sboros

When I heard that Wikipedia had deleted Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s profile, I was shocked. Not just because I’ve met Kendrick, have read his most well-known, groundbreaking books, written lots about him and have the greatest respect for him.

It’s also not because I take Wikipedia at all seriously. The signs have been there for ages that Wikipedia falsely claims to be a “free encyclopedia”. It is proving to be part of something far more sinister and costly – by default or design.

I was shocked because I know how – and why – Wikipedia did something so stupid and self-destructive. And how it damaged its tattered reputation further by deleting someone of Kendrick’s knowledge, experience and standing. (Not surprisingly, Wikipedia ignored my tweeted request for comment.)



Harvard study: ‘Case against carbs, for fats grows stronger’

By Marika Sboros

It’s not the definitive word for best weight loss diets but it’s close. And it doesn’t venture into the contentious plant- versus animal-food divide. A major new Harvard study shows that replacing carbohydrates with fats speeds up metabolism.

It overcomes one of the biggest hurdles in conventional weight-loss diets: the “plateau”. That is the metabolism slowdown that prevents weight loss on conventional diets.

It’s why so many lose some weight but stay hungry and find it increasingly harder to lose more.

The Harvard study in the BMJ is well-designed and randomised. It is also one of the largest feeding studies ever conducted, say the authors. Add recent US research by Virta Health on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets to reverse type 2 diabetes and experts say it’s a recipe for speedy, safe, sustainable weight loss.



Dr Jason Fung’s single best weight loss tip!

 By Marika Sboros

Psst! If your MD or dietitian still subscribes to the CICO (calories-in, calories-out) obesity model, find another one. Quick!

According to the model, obesity is from gluttony and sloth. A calorie is a calorie. And all you have to do to lose weight and keep it off is “eat less and move more”.

The model is not just unscientific, it’s out the dark ages of nutrition science.

Yet many (if not most) MDs and dietitians still believe that CICO rules. Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung is not one. As a kidney specialist, Fung sees many patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The two conditions are now so common that doctors refer to them as “diabesity”.

In the article below, Fung gives his top weight loss tip for those struggling with diabesity. Spoiler alert: it’s about as far from CICO as it’s possible to be.



FETTKE: COVER-UP GROWS AFTER CASE AGAINST HIM COLLAPSES?

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke’s professional reputation and licence to practise medicine are no longer under threat. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) recently cleared Fettke of any misconduct over his opinions on nutrition.

That response was legally and ethically correct, under the circumstances. However, it raises more questions than answers.

One question is why AHPRA went to war on the side of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and its members who mobilised against Fettke. Another is why no heads have rolled in AHPRA’s prosecution of Fettke – in a case that legal analysts called a “kangaroo court“.

Yet another is why AHPRA has ignored extensive evidence of bullying, mobbing and intimidation of Fettke at his workplace, Launceston General Hospital (LGH) in Tasmania, for more than eight years. That is raising questions of a cover-up at the highest levels.



FETTKE FREE AT LAST: AHPRA DROPS ALL CHARGES!

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke is a free and vindicated man. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has dropped all charges against him.

In a letter to Fettke, AHPRA clears him of any wrongdoing or misconduct in a case that has dragged on for more than four years. The Agency has also apologised for its actions against him.

Those actions include slapping a lifetime ban on him in 2016 from speaking to patients about nutrition. Not just any nutrition but his advocacy for low-carb, healthy-fat (LCHF) therapies.

The ban falls away – although Fettke had ignored it anyway.



Seriously! Stomach surgery first option for diabetics?

By Marika Sboros

I’m always unnerved when doctors encourage diabetics to have stomach surgery before more effective, much safer, less invasive methods. Like simple dietary changes.

The recommendation has been popping up again on social media.

There is robust evidence to show that bariatric surgery can be life-saving for morbidly obese people. However,  it is invasive and the success rate is nothing to write home about. Complications can also be lethal and include heart attack, stroke and death.

So it should be worrying when doctors advise stomach surgery as first resort, especially for diabetics who are only mildly obese.



From hunger to wholeness: ‘road map’ to avoid overeating

By Marika Sboros

Hunger is one driver of overweight, obesity and associated health problems.  Another is the “weight” that many people with obesity carry.

That weight is as much emotional as physical, say the authors of a new book. From Hunger To Wholeness is a “road map” to guide readers back to a healthy weight.

The co-authors are UK-based psychoanalytic psychotherapists, Caroline Taylor-Thomas and Pam Kleinot. I came across it as both are former journalist colleagues of mine back home in South Africa.

The book’s subtitle gives their aim: Strategies To Free Yourself From Overeating. To deliver, they mix extensive investigative reporting skills and clinical experience of patients with eating disorders and other forms of substance abuse.



Vitamin D: is it snake-oil for snake-oil disease?

By Marika Sboros

Nutrition science is looking decidedly dodgy these days. One reason is the love affair with vitamins, a century after scientists discovered them.

That affair has spawned the billion-dollar global supplement industry. It has also created “pseudo-diseases” in its wake, says British geneticist Prof Tim Spector. One of those pseudo-diseases is Vitamin D deficiency.

Spector is professor of genetic epidemiology and director of the TwinsUK Registry, at Kings College London. Spector has looked at another confounding variable in nutrition research these days: We have ignored a new “virtual” organ in our bodies for the digestive and endocrine system, he says. It is the microbiome that he calls our “second brain”.



DID WITS ETHICS CHIEF LOSE HER WAY JUST TO NAIL NOAKES?

Prof Amaboo ‘Ames’ Dhai

By Marika Sboros

Here’s an intriguing ethical and moral dilemma in the latest issue of the SAMJ (South African Medical Journal).

It’s in an article by University of the Witwatersrand bioethics head Prof Amaboo “Ames” Dhai. The title: The Life Esidimeni tragedy: Moral pathology and an ethical crisis.

In it, Dhai speaks of “core values of compassion, competence and autonomy”. Together with respect for fundamental human rights, these are “the foundation of ethical practice in healthcare”, she writes.

But why is that an ethical, moral dilemma and for whom? Well, for starters, for Dhai herself.



Saturated fat causes heart disease? Pure bollocks – Kendrick!

Quick! If your doctor or dietitian still says you should eat a low-fat diet for your heart’s sake, find another one. In the final of a two-part series, Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick explains why so many doctors and dietitians dish up junk about cholesterol.

And why everything the experts have been telling you about saturated fat, its impact on LDL, and its impact on CVD is – frankly – ‘complete bollocks’. – Marika Sboros



LDL FAT HEART PUZZLE: KENDRICK SOLVES IT!

Some find it puzzling that cardiologists still tell patients to avoid saturated fat like the plague. And that they also tell patients to lower their levels of so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol.

It’s as if cardiologists don’t know that there isn’t such a thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. And that LDL isn’t cholesterol at all. Never was, as Scottish GP Dr MalColm Kendrick explains in this two-part series. 

Kendrick has a special interest and clinical experience in cardiovascular disease over decades. He is a voice of sanity in a mad scientific debate. Here, Kendrick explains why saturated fat can’t “cause” heart disease by raising blood LDL cholesterol levels. And why there are more important things to worry about for your heart’s sake.  – Marika Sboros



Vintage eating: look backward, fast forward to good health!

By Marika Sboros

Fast food is often just a euphemism for junk food. Ditto for “convenience”, so-called “comfort” food. A new book gives bold new taste, flavour and health to fast food.

It is Dinner Plans, Easy Vintage Meals by Jennifer Calihan and Adele Hite. It shows how easy it really is to make healthy foods fast for dinner daily.

The secret is in the “vintage”, say the authors. Vintage meals are the “original fast food”. Vintage eating is the way your great-grandmothers used to cook. That was “back when people used to feel satisfied between meals and look and feel better”.



PHC FINALLY LAYS LOW-FAT DIETS TO REST! Part 2

By Marika Sboros

Are you on a low-fat, high-carb diet because your doctor or dietitian says that it’s “healthy”?

That’s “fake news”, says Scottish professor of metabolic medicine Iain Broom.

You are part of an “uncontrolled global experiment” over 40 years.

It is one that has had “disastrous” results for people across the planet, Broom said.



LCHF SLIPS INTO MEDICAL MAINSTREAM AT PHC GATHERING! PART 1

By Marika Sboros

If you harbour any doubt that low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) diets are becoming medical mainstream, the recent Public Health Collaboration (PHC) annual conference in London dispelled it.

Former Australian cricket team doctor Peter Brukner set the tone in his opening address on May 19. It is “almost negligent”, even close to “criminal”, he said, for doctors not to put patients on LCHF diets for diet-related illnesses. That was fighting talk and it resonated with speakers who expressed similar sentiments.But there was another strong sign that LCHF is becoming mainstream.