Dr Gillian McKeith (PhD) continued

September 30th, 2004 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, channel 4, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, PhDs, doctors, and qualifications | 12 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Thursday September 30, 2004
The Guardian

· I once saw a bloke at the opening of a Jackson Pollock exhibition in the Tate, wearing a T-shirt that said: “my cat could do better”. What, you may be wondering, has that got to do with Dr Gillian McKeith (PhD)? Well now. Besides her PhD, which we have already discussed, there were a few other interesting entries on her CV. For example, she is proud to announce under “Professional Associations” that she is a certified member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants (AANC), which certainly sounds impressive. I bet you get a little certificate and everything.

· In fact, I know you get a certificate, because I’m holding it in my hand right now. It’s in the name of my cat, Henrietta. I got it in return for $60, and it’s a particular honour since dear, sweet, little Hettie died about a year ago. So, coming in a bit cheaper than Gillian’s non-accredited correspondence course PhD and Masters degrees (although she will have got a discount from “Clayton College of Natural Health” if she ordered them both at once), it looks as if all you need to be a certified member of the AANC is a name, an address, and a spare $60. You don’t need to be human. You don’t even need to be alive. No exam. No check-up on your qualifications. And no assessment of your practice. I guess that could be embarrassing for some of their certified professional members. Presumably, the diploma is there to certify that you have $60.

· If you know anyone else who is showing off about being a Professional Certified Member of the AANC, I’d like to hear about it. The only one I can find so far is a man called Dr Bannock who presented Why Weight on Channel 4 and Fat Academy on Discovery. No, I’d never heard of him either. He says he is a “Member of the American Association of Nutrition Consultants (Board Certified Nutrition Consultant)”. Glad you added that bit at the end, Dr Bannock. His website mentions his PhD in Nutritional Physiology, but he doesn’t say where it’s from; his website also features the odd photograph of a stethoscope, although to my disappointment, unlike Hettie, he’s not gone as far as dressing up in it endearingly.

· But back to the money: if anybody wants nutritional advice from the decomposing corpse of my ex-cat, I shall be setting up a small shrine at the bottom of the garden, where you can leave chewed mice, ready cash, and offers of a primetime TV series on Channel 4.


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12 Responses



  1. Anthony Z. said,

    December 22, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    “Presumably, the diploma is there to certify that you have $60.”

    Technically, the diploma is there to certify that you *had* $60.

  2. Milady de Winter said,

    January 10, 2006 at 12:35 am

    I’ve no idea how she gets away with it but unrest is starting to form amongst the real nutritionalists and I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s silenced.
    ~Milady
    xxx

  3. iceprincess said,

    February 25, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Dont you see that Ben Goldfaker is just a lier! He has built his journalistic career on lies, defamation & false statements. Not one peice of his article about Dr Gillian McKeith was true!

    Gillian McKeith is an amazing woman.

    Go and get lost Ben Goldfaker!! No one likes you!

  4. iceprincess said,

    February 25, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    You are just some little boy who thinks he know everything.

    I have told everyone i know to STOP buying the Guardian. And well you know what??? THEY HAVE!!

  5. Why Dont You Blog? : Crackpot McKeith Punished said,

    February 25, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    [...] In association with Channel 4 Nutjob McKeith pushed herself onto the UK public as a “Clinical Nutritionist” (woo-title if ever there was one). She is often called Dr McKeith, or even “Dr Gillian McKeith PhD,” with the implication she is a medical doctor when in fact she has a PhD. However, this PhD is from a woo-factory of dynamic proportions. She has her “PhD” from the Australasian College of Health Sciences (Portland, US), yet you cant find out any of the details of her final thesis. She touts her “professional membership” with the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, yet this is the same level of membership Ben Goldacre’s dead cat has. [...]

  6. Tara Parker-Pope and Jonny Bowden « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science said,

    July 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    [...] is significant if something is cited in the NYT.[4] One thing is clear, with all due respect to the well-credentialled shade of the long-dead Hettie, the NYT needs to pay more care and attention to selecting its [...]

  7. Do media executives find the truth incomprehensible, or just inconvenient? - Counterknowledge.com said,

    December 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

    [...] If so, ensure that the expert holds these qualifications.” [Note to producers- Ben Goldacre's dead cat would make an excellent contributor to any [...]

  8. Docterandus in de Weet-niet-kunde « Waar hangt Hof uit? said,

    February 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    [...] een nog nietszeggender dan de ander. Zo heeft diezelfde Ben Goldacre het voor elkaar gekregen zijn kat Henrietta een titel als dietist te laten verkrijgen bij de American Association of Nutritional Consultants [...]

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  11. Idiot #1 – Gillian McKeith « Idiots For Idiots said,

    July 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    [...] We’ve already seen that she’s not a real doctor.  Pride in a long list of totally inane qualifications is a good sign of an idiot.  Oh, and the qualifications from proper universities are in [...]

  12. Bullshit Detection – “Evidence not Credentials” at Skeptical Science said,

    March 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    [...] check out www.badscience.net/2004/09/dr-gillian-mckeith-phd-continued/ to read Dr Ben Goldacre’s Guardian column on the [...]

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