Isn’t it nice to wake up in the morning and learn that sanity can still prevail — even when government committees are involved?

Tim Noakes, the victim of an inquisition triggered by an idiot dietician, was found not guilty of unprofessional conduct yesterday.  Here are some quotes from a report by News24 in South Africa:

Professor Tim Noakes has been found not guilty of misconduct, a professional conduct committee found on Friday.

That’s the good news.  Excellent news, in fact.  The bad news is that Noakes was dragged before a committee in the first place.  Read on to see just how ridiculous this entire episode was.

Noakes – whose book The Real Meal Revolution promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet – was charged with giving unconventional medical advice via Twitter two years ago after he advised a breastfeeding mother to wean her baby onto LCHF.

Charged with giving unconventional advice … riiiight, because the conventional dietary advice handed down since the 1970s has done such a bang-up job of improving people’s health worldwide.

The independent committee made its finding following a protracted hearing into a complaint by the former president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom. She had complained about Noakes giving advice relating to his LCHF diet on Twitter to a mother.

And why did Julsing-Strydom (the idiot dietitian) feel the need to bring charges?  Was Noakes going around giving unsolicited, unconventional advice?  Was he sneaking into people’s homes and feeding their kids an “unconventional” diet when the parents weren’t looking?

The mother’s tweet read: “@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies?? [sic]” Noakes advised her to wean her child onto LCHF foods, which he described as “real” foods.

His tweet read: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF.”

So there’s the basis for the witch hunt:  a mother SPECIFICALLY ASKED NOAKES FOR ADVICE on Twitter, and he replied.  His reply went against the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and hearthealthywholegrains! nonsense promoted by the Axis of Incompetence, so one of its members decided she’d try to ruin his life and his career.

Earlier in the hearing, which started in 2015, witnesses for the HPCSA said a consultation was required before any advice could be given or diagnosis made.

A mother asks Noakes for advice online, and he’s supposed to tell her sorry, we need to have a consultation in my office?  And what the @#$% kind of diagnosis is required in this situation?  The mom didn’t say her baby had a strange rash and ask for an online prescription.  She asked a question about diet … and since she asked Noakes, it means she obviously respects his opinion on the matter.

Noakes questioned why Leenstra, who ostensibly could have suffered harm, did not lay the charge. He argued he did not give advice on breastfeeding, but on weaning.

BINGO!!  The mother who asked for advice didn’t complain.  A dietitian who had nothing to do with the situation complained.  This is, of course, what The Anointed are all about: restricting other people’s speech and freedoms — for their own good, of course.

Noakes alleged that Julsing-Strydom’s complaint was not centred on breastfeeding, but on the diet he advocates in his book, of which she did not approve.

Of course that was the basis of her complaint.

The HPCSA argues that Noakes gave unconventional and unscientific advice, and was unprofessional in his conduct for dispensing the advice via social media.

You want to see unscientific advice? Look no further than arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and hearthealthywholegrains!

As for giving advice via social media being unprofessional … does any sane person believe Julsing-Strydom and the other dietary fascists would have gone after a doctor who advised the mother to wean her baby on hearthealthywholegrains?

Out of curiosity, I just checked Twitter to see if The American Heart Association tweets dietary advice.  Yup.  I guess somebody needs to drag them before a committee for engaging in unprofessional conduct … you know, giving out advice online without a proper consultation and all that.

Two international witnesses testified in his defence – diet and health researcher Dr Zoe Harcombe from London, and investigative journalist Nina Teicholz from New York, who is the author of The Big Fat Surprise, which “explains the politics, personalities, and history of how we came to believe that dietary fat is bad for health”.

And bless you both, ladies.

Professor Willie Pienaar, a psychiatrist and part-time bioethicist, during the hearing said that doctors cannot give expert advice without consultation. He argued that Noakes had the opportunity to refer the mother to a general practitioner, and pointed out that he didn’t ask the age or health status of the baby.

“Professor Noakes, what foods should I feed my baby?”

“I’m sorry, Mom, I’ll have to refer you to a general practitioner who will give advice I believe with all my heart and soul is completely wrong.”

He said his main concern was that Noakes had given specialist advice via social media and that consultation was key to giving the correct diagnosis.

Again, exactly what kind of diagnosis is required when a mother asks for general dietary advice? What diagnosis does the American Heart Association make before going online and telling people to replace butter with corn and canola oil?

Expert witness Professor Este Vorster, a former president of the Nutrition Society of SA, said Noakes could not give convincing evidence that his was the optimal diet for lactating mothers.

The Anointed can’t give convincing evidence that vegetable oils and grains are the optimal diet.  But they’ll keep pushing them and occasionally conduct a witch-hunt when a prominent doctor dares to disagree.  Thank goodness The Anointed lost this round.  Let’s hope they lose many, many more.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate the decision — even though there never should have been a trial in the first place — and applaud Tim Noakes for having the backbone to stand up to these bullies.

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Another podcast about the book for kids: I was recently interviewed on the Cameron J. English podcast show.

Cameron writes blog posts and does podcasts about science, public policy and politics.  He’s a very bright and well-read guy with libertarian leanings, so of course I’m a fan of his work.

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My buddy Jimmy Moore interviewed me recently for an episode of The Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show.  We talked about the new book for kids, of course, along with other topics.

I was pleased to hear that Jimmy liked the last chapter (It’s Perfectly Good to be Good Instead of Perfect) the best.  Most of that chapter is what I’d tell my adolescent self if I could go back in time.  I can’t go back in time, but I can deliver the message to kids (and adults) who read the book.

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In honor of the book being officially launched today (Amazon USA link, Amazon UK link, Amazon Europe link), I thought I’d post the introduction, and perhaps follow up with chapters one and two over the next couple of weeks.

Chareva spent a lot of time creating two-page spreads for the book, which of course I can’t recreate here.  But I’ll insert her illustrations where it makes sense.

————————————————

Introduction

You probably remember someone like me from grade school. I was what the other kids called “a brain.” But that was almost 50 years ago, and I’m told kids nowadays wouldn’t insult me like that. Today they’d call me a nerd, a dork, or possibly a dweeb. Anyway, you know the type. I was usually the smartest kid in class, and I was lousy at sports.

How lousy? Well, here’s one of my not-so-fond memories from gym class: We were running a relay race where each guy on the team had to dribble a basketball down the court, make a layup, then dribble back and hand off to the next guy.

I was the last guy on our team, and when I got the ball, we were in the lead. I bounced the ball down the court, tossed it towards the basket … and missed. By a lot. I tried again and missed. And missed again. And again — mostly because my weak arms couldn’t fling the ball high enough.

The other team had already won, but the gym teacher growled, “You’re not quitting until you make that basket.” So I leaned back and hurled the ball as hard as I could. It bounced off the rim, smacked me in the face, and knocked me on my butt. At that point, the gym teacher decided I could quit after all.

Around age 13, something happened to my skinny body I didn’t think was possible: I started getting fat. But I didn’t become one of those big, strong, fat guys. Nope. I had skinny arms and legs, a fat belly and — most embarrassing of all — boy boobs.

I wasn’t fast even when I was skinny, but getting fat gave me the speed of a turtle. When I was in seventh grade, yet another gym teacher had us run a relay race. Once again, I was the last man on our team, and we were leading when it was my turn to run. When the last guy on the other team saw he was racing me, he didn’t bother running. Instead, he skipped to the finish line. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to lose a race to a guy who’s skipping?

Meanwhile, I was running as fast as I could … and my boy-boobs were slapping me so hard, it was like running with the Three Stooges. That’s when I came to appreciate the kindness and compassion that’s so common among adolescent boys.

And so, like millions of fat people before me, I came up with a plan: I’ll just starve myself until I’m as skinny as they are. Then they can’t make fun of me for being fat.

I went on my first diet when I was 14. I counted every calorie and only ate 1500 of them per day. The results were unbelievable: I spent weeks feeling hungry, cranky and tired without shrinking my belly. And so, like millions of fat people before me, I gave up.

But, like millions of fat people before me, I kept trying. Over the decades, I went on all kinds of low-fat, low-calorie diets. But I didn’t shrink my belly. Or I’d lose a little weight, then gain it back. As an adult, I spent countless hours jogging and walking on treadmills. But I didn’t shrink my belly.

And every time I failed to lose weight, I knew exactly who to blame: me.

I realize now I didn’t fail. The diets failed. The exercise programs failed. They failed because they’re based on beliefs about weight loss that simply aren’t true. I finally figured that out when I made a documentary called Fat Head.

I read a ton of research while making Fat Head, and when I put what I learned into action, I finally lost the weight and kept it off. And it wasn’t just the extra fat that went away. I also waved goodbye to a bunch of annoying health problems.

So in my fifties, I finally had something like the body I wanted when I was in high school. Well, okay, when I was high school I wanted to look like this …

… but this is pretty good, considering I spent most of my life as a fat guy.

After Fat Head was released, hundreds of people sent me emails telling me how happy they were to finally lose weight. Sometimes they included before-and-after pictures.

Lots of people who emailed me said pretty much the same thing: I’m glad I finally lost weight and got healthy … but man, I wish I’d known this stuff when I was a kid. My whole life could have been different.

Same goes for me. If I’d known then what I know now, my whole life could have been different too. So that’s what you’ll learn from this book: important stuff about diet and health I wish I knew when I was your age.

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I haven’t posted in awhile because I’ve been going a little bonkers trying to get the film version of the book done.  I’ve mostly been animating … and there’s a whole lot to animate in this film, with the talking characters and all.

For those of you who’ve never done it, animating is all about setting keyframes.  Chareva had to draw all the characters in pieces-parts: head, limbs, eyes (open and closed), various hand shapes, seven mouth shapes for dialog, etc.  To animate them, I have to link all the pieces-parts in Adobe After Effects, set rotation points, and create parent-child relationships.  Then I have to make things move with keyframes.  Each keyframe tells one of the pieces-parts to do something … change position, rotate, get bigger or smaller, appear or disappear, and so forth.  Here’s a shot of the keyframes for one character in one short scene.

I’m getting the hang of it (this is my first attempt at animating characters), but WOW, it’s a lot of work just to finish, say, a 20-second scene.  Matching the mouth shapes to the dialog would have been a ginormous task all by itself, but fortunately I found an add-in piece of software for After Effects called lipsyncr.  Feed in a sound file of the dialog and the text, and lipsyncr sets the keyframes for the mouth shapes.  It’s not 100% accurate every time, but I usually just have to fix a keyframe here and there.  I wouldn’t have stood a chance of getting this done by late May without it.

As it is, I’ll merely have to work like a madman for the next several weeks.  Commuting to Nashville five days per week for a full-time programming gig isn’t exactly helping, but that’s the situation.  If all goes well, perhaps the book and film will relieve me of that necessity in the near future.

The book is officially released on Tuesday.  I’m thinking to recognize the launch, I may post the introduction online, and perhaps the first chapter or two in later posts.  The blog won’t accommodate Chareva’s lovely two-page spreads, but you’ll still get the idea.

Back to work.

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I was invited to attend the first annual KetoFest in June and would love to be there.  I was the guest on a 2 Keto Dudes podcast with the organizers, Carl Franklin and Richard Morris, last September.  I enjoyed their show very much.

Unfortunately, KetoFest takes place right after the low-carb cruise, and I won’t have the vacation days from work to spare.  I’ll be there in spirit, though. They’re showing Fat Head as part of the festivities.

The organizers have a KickStarter campaign going, so check it out.  I just made my contribution.

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