British Empire Building

The Empire Strikes Back: UK Food Fight Part 2

We have mixed feelings about the comeuppance dished out to the National Obesity Forum in part 2 of an ongoing UK food fight. Their controversial report – Eat Fat, Cut Carbs, and Avoid Snacking to Reverse Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes – has left the organization in a bit of disarray. Four board members have resigned in protest over the report.

Saying that he disagrees with significant aspects of the report and has major issues with governance of the Forum, Matthew Capehorn resigned last week as the Forum’s clinical director. Jen Nash, Sangeeta Agnihotri, and Deputy Chairman Deborah Cook also resigned from board positions with this UK charity. The report was roundly criticized by UK nutrition and public health experts. They found it lacked grounding in scientific evidence while dispensing “dangerous” dietary advice.

On one hand, perhaps such a visible example of discredited dietary dogma might be useful to help the press and the public regard dietary evangelists skeptically. A steady stream of others with simple answers to complex problems will surely follow.

But why must we give them a platform?

Click here to read more from the BBC and here to read more from the Daily Mail. For commentary from Christopher Snowden, click here.

British Empire Building, photograph © Mike Gifford / flickr

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June 6, 2016

2 Responses to “The Empire Strikes Back: UK Food Fight Part 2”

  1. June 06, 2016 at 9:06 am, Angela Meadows said:

    This is the organisation whose head spokesperson, the consistently fat shaming Tam Fry, admitted to a journalist that they made up the scare statistics about soaring rates of obesity in an NOF report that was responded to by UK politicians. He justified this because (a) they used the word ‘might’ in the report, (b) the end justified the means, and (c) he saw fat people being fat all over the place, in public and everything, so it must be true. In fact, public figures at the time showed that this was not the case at all.

    If a scientist admitted to fabricating data to forward their own agenda there would be outrage, dismissal, censure. And yet nobody batted an eyelid, because, you know, fat people. I didn’t see any coverage on this story in the wider media at all, despite Mr Fry being the go-to media darling for the final fat-shaming word on just about any story on weight in the UK press, and Mr Fry and the NOF still have the ears of policy makers. Disgusting.

    Story link:

    • June 07, 2016 at 4:56 am, Ted said:

      I understand your outrage, Angela, and agree that this sort of nonsense is accepted with too little skepticism.