Please check out our website www.lowcarbdiabetic.co.uk We created and maintain this site without any help from anyone else. In doing so, we do not receive direct or indirect funding from anyone. We do not accept money or favours to manipulate the evidence in any way. Please visit our Low Carb food and recipe blog www.lowcarbdietsandrecipes.blogspot.com
Sunday 17 April 2016
Why so many dietitians have ‘HITS’ syndrome
UPDATE: If ever there were signs that HITS (Head In The Sand ) syndrome is rife among dietitians, it’s the latest anonymous statement from the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) and the Nutrition Society of SA, that went out to doctors and dietitians in South Africa in March. It lays out its ongoing obsessive ‘case’ against low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) and dietary saturated fat, despite the growing body of scientific evidence to the contrary. It once again demonstrates a lack of understanding of the difference between correlation and causation. It ignores all compelling evidence contrary to its argument. It shows why it is not in the public interest for them to have the monopoly on giving dietary advice. Here, Eategrity consumer activist Sonia Mountford looks at why ADSA is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of advice it gives that favoursBig Food and the science behind it. – Marika Sboros
By Sonia Mountford
Dieticians wedded to old nutrition paradigms still like to tell people all they have to do to lose weight is eat less and excercise more. Restricting the practice of nutrition to dietitians only is not in the public’s best interests, more so when the credibility of their representative body, the Association Dietetics South Africa (ADSA) compromised due to their funding by Big Food.
Yet that is what the Health Professions Council of SA (HSPCA) are seemingly supporting at the behest of ADSA, by helping to press the mute button on all other dietary advice that ADSA disapproves of.
South Africa’s health community is in desperate need of a dose of integrity and needs to acknowledge the growing awareness globally of “conventional” dietary advice being questioned due to Big Food influence.
In The Rise and Fall of Dietetics and of Nutrition Science, 4000 BCE-2000 CE, British epidemiologist Dr Geoffrey Cannon says nutrition science in its modern form dates from the early to mid-nineteenth century; it had the effect of creating dietetics as a separate paramedical profession. “The first generations of physiologists, biochemists and physicians who created nutrition science along the lines of the disciplines in which they were trained, believed they could change the world,” says Cannon.
“So they did, once governments and industry endorsed their ideas. The dimensions of nutrition narrowed but its scope widened. It became less a philosophy of life, more an instrument of state.”
Nutrition science has provided the means for dieticians to influence mainstream media dietary advice and contribute to the definition of a healthy diet for government dietary guidelines and policy.
ADSA seems to suffer from what I call “head in the sand” (HITS) syndrome: ADSA must be aware that the concerns raised over conflicts of interest by their Big Food sponsorships won’t go away by merely burying their heads in the sand. Denial of these conflicts of interest won’t afford the opportunity for reflection or critical policy changes for the better either.
This is the most concerning aspect of ADSA’s unwillingness to acknowledge the sponsorship concerns repeatedly raised. Along with their unwillingness for real dialogue, their arrogance of claiming the arena of dietary advice puts at risk progress of real solutions to our obesity and the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCD’s, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer).
Can South African citizens afford a stronghold on this type of dietary advice? Probably not. Are dieticians and in particular, ADSA in danger of becoming irrelevant if they don’t begin to take these conflicts of interest seriously? Very probably.
HITS syndrome is not unique to ADSA. It’s pretty much a global phenomenon.