Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ben Goldacre blasts nutritionists on

I always enjoy Ben Goldacre's perspective, but this nutrition article deserves a mention:
Since Goldacre is British, I don't always follow all of his UK references, but I think he's making a telling point here, in part of his blasting away at non-doctor Gillian McKeith:

I rent a flat in London’s Kentish Town on my modest junior doctor’s salary (don’t believe what you read in the papers about doctors’ wages, either). This is a very poor working-class area, and the male life expectancy is about 70 years. Two miles away in Hampstead, meanwhile, where the millionaire Dr Gillian McKeith PhD owns a very large property, surrounded by other wealthy middle-class people, male life expectancy is almost 80 years. I know this because I have the Annual Public Health Report for Camden open on the table right now. This phenomenal disparity in life expectancy - the difference between a lengthy and rich retirement, and a very truncated one indeed - is not because the people in Hampstead are careful to eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day, to make sure they’re not deficient in selenium, as per nutritionists’ advice. And that’s the most sinister feature of the whole nutritionist project, graphically exemplified by McKeith: it’s a manifesto of rightwing individualism - you are what you eat, and people die young because they deserve it. They choose death, through ignorance and laziness, but you choose life, fresh fish, olive oil, anf that’s why you’re healthy. You’re going to see 78. You deserve it. Not like them.

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