Holy Catfish

March 1st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith | 22 Comments »

Ah, from the b3ta.com image challenge.

You may also remember this news coverage of the fish oil trials from Viz, and the scandalous “Ben Goldacre Forced To Use His Full Title By The PCC“. Tra la..

If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

22 Responses

  1. Despard said,

    March 1, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    That’s wonderful.

    You must be famous now if the b3tans are shopping you into stuff. 😉

  2. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 1, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    my god, i hadn’t noticed hettie in the background. that really is a work of art.

  3. pseudomonas said,

    March 1, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    see also b3ta.com/board/6880860

  4. Despard said,

    March 1, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Aww, they spelt your name wrong in the newsletter though:

    “We asked Ben Goodacre, author of the Guardian’s esteemed Bad Science column, to judge the entries.”

  5. JLF said,

    March 1, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Now she has lost her “Dr” will we soon be seeing her team up with other hick nutritionist Patrick Holford, to create the Patrick Holford Diploma (aka the PhD)?

    And what are these silly references to trials? According to Dr Briffa there is no need, he says (in his blog), “I have never claimed that my work is evidence-based. But the point is, neither is dietetics. Neither is medicine for that matter. Let’s all be clear and honest about this and not blind the public with our professional-sounding rhetoric.” (i’m sure his medic tutors are pleased!)

    Also (from his website) it is the BDA, not the sweet innocent unregistered, unregulated nutritionist people should be aware of!!!

  6. apothecary said,

    March 2, 2007 at 9:11 am

    re 8 – You’re right!

    Is nobody else more than a little concerned that the ’shopped Goldacrefinger bears a striking resemblance to ‘I lie for a living’ astrological fraud that is Russell Grant??

    Separated at birth? I think we should be told. Now there’s a twin study!

  7. raygirvan said,

    March 2, 2007 at 12:11 pm

  8. BSM said,

    March 2, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    “Separated at birth? I think we should be told. Now there’s a twin study!”

    But, I think I know which twin ate all the pies.

  9. Seany said,

    March 2, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Russell Grant or a northern club comic: “I’m not saying my mother-in-law’s fat. She’s not actually, she eats a sensible balanced diet as recommended by a qualified and regulated dietitian”.

  10. Andrew Clegg said,

    March 2, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    See also this from Private Eye:

    … with freshly-crossed-out Dr.


  11. Andrew Clegg said,

    March 2, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Hmm, try this instead:

  12. roodle said,

    March 3, 2007 at 12:08 am

  13. roodle said,

    March 3, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Oh you and your crazy image codes.


  14. roGER said,

    March 3, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    It really ought to be some kind of turbo enema machine rather than a medical laser, but then… maybe Lady Poo would enjoy that.

  15. johnspier said,

    March 4, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Just had a quick look www.drgillianmckeith.com/

    She still has her ‘title’ of Dr all over it. I wonder what her excuses are, and how long it will take her to remove all the Dr references?

  16. outeast said,

    March 5, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Well, it looks like someone’s site-sitting gillianmckeith.com (without the ‘dr’). But thatawfulpoolady.com is still available…

  17. Tristan said,

    March 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Erm, am I the only person to think Ben looks like Gary Glitter in those pics?

  18. raygirvan said,

    March 5, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Well, it looks like someone’s site-sitting gillianmckeith.com

    Sneaky blighter too. One of those with domain parked at www.adoptadomain.net, whose whois server is never functional.

  19. ToeKnee said,

    March 6, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I’ve just got off the bog where (somewhat ironically) I read an ‘article’ in Closer magazine – my wife buys it, honest – in which Gillian McKeith claims she was bullied into dropping the “Dr”. She claims she is permitted to use it because she has a PhD, but that she has been made to drop it because it might confuse people into thinking she was a clinician. This is a clever piece of publicity, by Max Clifford I would guess. She is speaking directly to her target audience in Closer mag – trust me it has a very low citation index – and attempting to confuse the issue around the status the title “Dr” in the minds of laymen. My guess would be that the average Closer reader will go away thinking it’s just some technical detail but that McKeith is still an educated authority on nutrition and pooh and stuff.

    Dr. Tony Lacey

    (Just in case you are confused I’m not a medical doctor but I do have a PhD in Computer Vision from The University of Sheffield which is an accredited institution in the UK.)

  20. edhollingum said,

    March 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    She could always declare herself a democratic republic.

  21. Marko said,

    March 6, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    I notice both the Guardian and Channel 4 TV listings have dropped the “Dr.” from her name. One small step …

  22. Ginters said,

    March 10, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    I don’t we should under estimate the contributions of old Gill.
    OK she may not be a doctor and the evidence suggests she doesn’t have an O’level in biology either but in her defense anyone who can look at fat person, display their weekly diet on a single table then have to examine their poo to confirm they are fat whilst still being the shortest person in the world I think needs the nations help.
    Add to this she has convinced Channel 4 that she can spin out the idea that if people eat less calories than they need to sustain their weight then they loss weight not just over a one off half hour show but over more than one series can’t be all bad.

    In fact screw you lot. Me and Gill are going to get together and create a show where depressed badly dressed women are mocked in their pants until they physically and mentally break down but then rescued from certain solitued to be told that wearing the bark of the Omamaga tree* as low cut jeans and the leaves of the TipTipShoo plant* as a poncho will make them happy: you are what you wear.

    *both these plants have been completely made up and ratified by the Clayton College of Online Morons

    And Lacey! Don’t knock the publishing record of Closer magazine! Its article on ‘how my nana die by murmering MRSA’ was peer reviewed by the ladies in my office and they say it’s science fact cos one of their neighbours said it happened to them so it must be true.