Dr Tim Noakes, a leading expert on the low carb high fat diet and how it is better for endurance athletes and everyone else too including diabetics is at present fighting for his reputation in a hearing that re-started on Monday 17 October.
I saw this on a Facebook post by diaverge that pointed to post “The Nutrition Trial of The Century…” the hearing with his professional body (Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) he is a member of is deciding on whether the “advice” he gave on twitter to a new mother was harmful. The offending tweet said the babies should be weaned on to a healthy low carb high fat diet.
He was reported by Claire Julsing Strydom, then the president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa for the tweet.
This hearing is where Prof Tim Noakes present more of his evidence including expert witnesses and the prosecution gets the opportunity to cross-examine.
It has the possibility to be a big confrontation between the LCHF (low carb high fat) and the forces that support the current standard way of eating supported by large corporate interests. It has become more like a proper trial than a hearing.
What Are The Establishment Saying
Some of the members of the establishment obviously say that he was irresponsible and should be disciplined while others on the same side of the argument as the establishment say it is frivolous and should be dismissed.
The cost of the hearing is going to run into millions and no doubt take a lot more time up too. It already has.
The first hearing was dismissed because one of the members of the panel had a vested interest in the case. The 2nd instalment was in November 2015, the third in February 2016 and now on to the third.
It’s as much a discussion on whether LCHF way of eating is good for humans as to whether Tim Noakes gave harmful advice to a mother on twitter.
There seems to be more at stake for the Low Fat High Carb diet to make sure Tim Noakes is at least rapped over the knuckles but they’ll be pushing for more to protect their interests.
It Could Be Great
It’s great that Tim Noakes is getting an opportunity to present the case for LCHF just a pity it is in defending his reputation. He seems confident about
being able to defend himself as he says he defended himself successfully 6 out of 7 times he’s been attacked, with this being the 7th.
What makes Tim Noakes more significant is that he is a well known running specialist with him writing one of the top books on running called the Lore of Running where he talked about eating a high percentage of carbs to fuel your running.
He then developed Type 2 diabetes and went on the search for a solution and came up with the LCHF way of eating – and he then started researching how it can help athletes improve their performance by eating more fat too. What a transformation and it has made him a lot of friends as well as some people who are “less than friendly” about this change shall we say.
What Is Going To Happen
I think they’re going to “fudge” this in some way where both sides can say they came out in victory – it will focus in the end on the method of communication rather than what was communicated. There is just too much at stake for HPCSA to talk about the way of eating, they may say there still needs to be further research to determine if there is anything to the LCHF diet – they’ll say it is unproven as to whether it’s healthy while ignoring the lack of evidence supporting the carb high way of eating.
It would be too much for anything else to come from it unfortunately – still it will make for fascinating viewing and reading as the HPSA and their supporters (big food for one) squirm under the spotlight in the meantime and it should get the message out to more people too.
Hopefully I’m wrong and after an epic battle Dr Tim Noakes is triumphant and the new is trumpeted loudly around the world and real change begins for the health of all.
I’d heard about Dr, Noakes on a Marathon Talk podcast with “What The Fat” author Grant Schofield. He said he was one of the pioneers of this way of eating for athletes and a hero earlier this year. I know I need to find out more about his research and test it out more for my plunge into longer and more endurance races.
As more is reported on the hearing and more is discussed I’ll update this post.
The best place for a full discussion of the trial is at FoodMed.net where they have a number of in depth articles on what has happened so far.
25 October Tim Noakes had 3 expert witnesses help with his case, they are called Tim’s Angels by some due to them being women. The HPCSA did try to get them “banned” from giving evidence but failed in the attempt.
They really have been hitting hard too:
Dr Zoe Harcome – British obesity researcher. In her testimony she talked about how poor statins are and how bias the ADSA are in their advice. She also brought up the failings of Ancel Keys research on saturated fat and studies before and after.
Dr Caryn Zinn – Registered Dietitian and academic. The big statement in her evidence is that “parents do not feed cereal to babies.” She was against the HPCSA evidence that starchy foods should form the basis of most meals for adults and children. She also showed that the experts and the HPCSA don’t know much about dietary ketosis and ketones which is surprising as they brought it up and Tim Noakes didn’t mention it in his tweet.
Nina Teicholz – US Journalist and author of The Big Fat Surprise. She got into trouble with the food and medical industry for questioning US government Dietary guidelines. In the trial she showed that low fat diets can be lethal and the effect of sugar in the rise of chronic diseases.
28 October: With the trial (hearing) now adjourned until April you’d think that would be it for now. But the HSPCA sent out a press release stating they had found Professor Tim Noakes guilty of unprofessional conduct. They even had it on their website.
It took them over 3 hours to retract and send out a 2nd release to apologise. It couldn’t be true as the verdict isn’t to be made until April 21 2017.
Was it just a mistake or something more sinister showing that the decision has been made before the closing statements and replies have been made!
So, this part of the hearing is over. Next stages are the complainants having until 1 February to file their heads of argument, Noakes’ team has until 22 February and complainant has until March 15 to reply. The judgement should be then on 21 April.