And then I was incompetently libelled by a litigious millionaire

July 19th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, legal chill, libel | 81 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Monday 19 July 2010

What do you do, as a campaigner for libel reform, when a litigious millionaire calls you a liar? This ethical quandary was presented to me last week when twitter account of Gillian McKeith – or to give her full medical title, “Gillian McKeith” – called my book “lies”. Read the rest of this entry »

Now with audio – The Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists Part II – BBC Radio 4

March 31st, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, fish oil, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, onanism, patrick holford | 41 Comments »

grundig_satellit_2000.jpgBusy bee today, sorry for the late link, the second part of the BBC Radio 4 two-part series “The Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists” is going out at 8pm this evening, presented by yours truly (part one here) and produced by the excellently sharp Rami Tzabar from the BBC Radio Science Unit. I think it’s rather good, and makes a single clear point: lifestyle is important, and we all want to improve our health, but the evidence on diet and health is not sufficient to justify the very specific and confident advice which we crave, and which some will sell to Read the rest of this entry »

Craig Sams of Green and Blacks gets angry

April 17th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in alternative medicine, bad science, chocolate, craig sams, gillian mckeith, hate mail, nutritionists, onanism | 104 Comments »

Craig Sams is the founder of Green and Blacks. He made his money from chocolates, ice cream, and biscuits, and he is very angry with me for questioning the science behind Dr Gillian McKeith PhD and their corporate world.

This gem is from Natural Products magazine, the in-house trade publication of the nutritionism industry. I’ve included the original advertising from the page it appeared on, so you didn’t miss out on the context. That’s correct, by the way, your eyes do not deceive you: a whole page of the leading trade publication from this billion pound industry is devoted to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Catfish

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

Ah, from the image challenge.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s wrong with Dr Gillian McKeith PhD?

February 18th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in adverts, bad science, channel 4, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, PhDs, doctors, and qualifications, stifling criticism | 312 Comments »

For years, ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith has used her title to sell TV shows, diet books and herbal sex pills. Now the Advertising Standards Authority has stepped in. Yet the real problem is not what she calls herself, but the mumbo-jumbo she dresses up as scientific fact, says Ben Goldacre

Ben Goldacre
Monday February 12, 2007
The Guardian

Call her the Awful Poo Lady, call her Dr Gillian McKeith PhD: she is an empire, a multi-millionaire, a phenomenon, a prime-time TV celebrity, a bestselling author. She has her own range of foods and mysterious powders, she has pills to give you an erection, and her face is in every health food store in the country. Scottish Conservative politicians want her to advise the government. The Soil Association gave her a prize for educating the public. And yet, Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth About Nutritionists

February 10th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, references | 37 Comments »

Crikey, I’ve got a column in the BMJ!

BMJ 2007;334:292 (10 February), doi:10.1136/bmj.39118.546308.59
Tell us the truth about nutritionists
Media nutritionism distracts us from social inequality and the real causes of ill health

They’re certainly keen to praise themselves, but if you really wanted to do some primary prevention work in the community, would you start with the media nutritionists? The answer, for reasons of increasing seriousness, is no. Read the rest of this entry »

The Internal Examiner

February 3rd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, references | 85 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday February 3, 2007
The Guardian

As the awful poo lady goes into her fourth series on Channel 4, I can’t stop thinking about that PhD. I’m talking about Dr Gillian McKeith PhD, of course. It’s from a non-accredited correspondence college in the US, so no trustworthy government body attests to their standards. But I’m open minded, and it was always perfectly possible that Read the rest of this entry »

Shouting At The Irish

January 31st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, onanism | 21 Comments »

I was on The Panel RTE-2 in Ireland last Monday, video below. It’s a pretty funny show, I sat in the green room being fed peeled fruit by naked groupies wondering what it would be like to be the least funny person in the room. Luckily we joined forces and devised an innovative public health promotion strategy.

the panel

Picking up this show online, and watching some of the other excellent RTE stuff from the same site, really makes you realise how rubbish most telly on the telly is. Recently I’ve been procrastinating my way through where there’s a load of proper high resolution vintage material (discretely packaged up with a creative commons political agenda). Carnivorous Plants is excellent early creationist nonsense, and Nosferatu is as good as they say, in fact they’ve got some great old feature films, as well as cracking trailers like The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T.

For the more pretentiously minded, Ubu has Read the rest of this entry »

An Illustrated History Of Food Gurus

November 25th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, nutritionists | 22 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday November 25, 2006
The Guardian

It would be almost too easy to poke fun at Dr Gillian McKeith PhD, just because she’s been busted by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority this week for selling sordid medicinal products without a license. But as my girlfriend could happily tell you, I’m not a complicated man. So, Ms McKeith’s “Wild Pink” and “Horny Goat Weed” sex supplements are sold for “maintaining erections, orgasmic pleasure, ejaculation… lubrication, satisfaction, and arousal”, and sexual pleasure is, historically, the natural domain of quackery: but without the appropriate license, demonstrating safety, quality, and efficacy, her products were illegal.

Interestingly, although the contemporary nutritionism movement likes to present itself as a thoroughly modern and evidence based enterprise, the food guru industry, with its outlandish promises, moralising, and sexual obsessions, goes back at least 170 years. Like our modern food gurus, the historical figures of nutritionism were mostly enthusiastic lay people; and just like our modern food gurus, they all claimed to understand nutritional science, nature, evidence, and medicine, better than the scientists of their time. The advice Read the rest of this entry »

The Awful Poo Lady

November 21st, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, channel 4, gillian mckeith, nutritionists | 48 Comments »

Hahahahahahahaa this just off the wires from the MHRA at 00:01am. Busted! Just remember, yer old uncle Ben was here speaking the truth when Channel 4 and the rest were loving her. Surprisingly vicious for an MHRA press release, I have to say. I guess they want to be taken seriously as policing this kind of nonsense, given recent events (on which more soon, heh)… Anyway, here’s what the MHRA sent out on the wires:

MHRA order removal of Gillian McKeith’s illegal products

Dr Gillian McKeith’s organisation has had to Read the rest of this entry »