Noakes doesn't have qualifications to give dietary advice - expert

2015-11-24 15:25

Professor Tim Noakes doesn't have the necessary qualifications to dole out advice to breastfeeding mothers, a dietary expert has said at his HPCSA hearing.

- Have you put your little ones onto banting? Let us know how it's going
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Last Updated at 12:31
24 Nov 16:46
The matter has been adjourned to Wednesday at 10:00.

24 Nov 16:01

I haven't come across guidelines advocating weaning leading to a LCHF diet - Vorster. When questioned on the suitability, Vorster said she would question the need to put a healthy child on such a diet.

Mapholisa: DO you agree that carbs are not essential? Vorster: It is not classified as an essential nutrient. Dietary fibre is not classified as a nutrient, but it is a carb. Definition of essential nutrient is those which cannot be syntheised in the body and need to be taken in through your diet.

It is very important for health, Vorster said.


24 Nov 15:50
Vorster said she accepted that if Noakes is being asked by a client or patient for advice on breastfeeding, he would answer her as a registered health professional, which he is.

24 Nov 15:42
"[Claims that] malnourished South Africans and those with obesity and diabetes are not eating the HFLC diet is misleading," Vorster said. Compared to breastfeeding, the LCHF diet has a better chance of leading to malnourishment, Vorster said.

24 Nov 15:32
Giving advice without an assessment is irresponsible, unprofessional and may do harm, Vorster said.

24 Nov 15:27
Noakes response should have been to refer the breastfeeding mother to a registered dietitian for advice as he doesn't have the proper qualifications to give dietary advice, Vorster said with a quick "Sorry Tim".

24 Nov 15:15
He was not answering in a responsible way, Vorster said.

24 Nov 15:14
Noakes's response looks like he uses every opportunity to promote LCHF eating, Vorster said.

24 Nov 15:10
Vorster: Twitter should not be used for medical advice. An assessment should have been conducted.

24 Nov 15:01
Vorster now reading a 20 page report she wrote on  the complaint.

24 Nov 14:56
Vorster she was asked in June to compile a report as an expert, in which she summarised the complaint as well as the response form Noakes. The HPSCA requested an expert opinion against advice given by Noakes in response to the tweets, she said.

24 Nov 14:53
Noakes takes some notes during the hearing.

24 Nov 14:47
She has an extensive CV and has conducted extensive research into dietary guidelines.

24 Nov 14:46
Vorster is also a Nutrition Society of SA former president.

24 Nov 14:44
Prof Esté Vorster will be testifying next. Vorster is a retired professor at North West University, and is also an honorary professor.

24 Nov 14:35

News24 user René Dalton writes: "I followed the banting lifestyle through my first pregnancy. And had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy with no exhaustion or cravings. I have now been breastfeeding my son for 14 months, and have also weaned him onto the same lifestyle.

"Take note however that nowhere does Prof Noakes ever suggest putting your child into a Ketotonic state, in fact using the Raising Superheroes book by Jonno Proudfoot and Prof Noakes, they even suggest using certain carbs.

"The main thing with having an infant on banting, is cutting out processed and refined carbs and sugars. I am now in fact 5 months pregnant and still breastfeeding my son, and again have been perfectly healthy with no cravings and again feeling full of energy and well.

"And I am sure that I have no cravings as my body is lacking in nothing as I am getting everything my body and baby(s) need in order to sustain us all three.

"I even believe that I managed to fall pregnant due to banting, as I have suffered with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) for 10 years prior to banting, and after many treatments and unsuccessful attempts to fall pregnant, I read the original Real Meal Revolution where there is a section on PCOS and started the LCHF lifestyle.

"I fell pregnant 3 months later."


24 Nov 14:21

Mapholisa asks JS if there is any truth to collusion between HPCSA and ADSA against the respondent, JS responds that she is not aware of anything of the sort, that there is no truth to this and it is speculative.

Cross examination of Julsing-Strydom is complete.


24 Nov 13:59
Members of the audience - avid supporters of Banting - share stories of losing up to 20kg. "I feel fabulous," one woman said. "I eat delicious food and I lose weight. This is the way to go."

24 Nov 13:43
Snacks for the banters:

24 Nov 13:12
The hearing has adjourned for lunch.

24 Nov 13:06

24 Nov 12:29

The dieticians appear bitter and resentful according to the engagement on the comment section, VDN says.

Dieticians don't resent Noakes or that he is a celebrity, JS insisted. They don't agree with what he advocated for infants.


24 Nov 12:18

Her practice is Nutritional Solutions, which consists of eight dietitians. On its blog, it writes that it attended a talk by Noakes for first hand info on what he advocates.

Dowdy and backward - this is how the writer perceived Noakes impression of dietetics.

Five days before the charge was laid, this was the view of her and her colleagues, VDN pointed out.


24 Nov 12:12

Dieticians were unhappy with Noakes, VDN said. Yes, replies JS. After years of trying to engage Noakes and reach consensus, as well as asking for evidence, the charge was a last resort after it reached a vulnerable group - infants, JS said.

Dietitians are not resentful, they want paediatric guidelines which backs up Noakes's claims, JS continued.


24 Nov 12:05
Tweeting is no different to standing on a stage and sharing your view. It allows for debate, VDN says.

24 Nov 12:04
Leenstra followed at least four different LCHF advocates, VDN said.

24 Nov 12:03
The request for information was sent to a person who supports the LCHF lifestyle, VDN pointed out.

24 Nov 12:01
VDN (Van der Nest) said when you participate on exchanges on Twitter, you are aware it is public. Doctor and patient exchange, however, is private.

24 Nov 11:42

24 Nov 11:40

Leenstra said there was "too much conflicting information!!!" Van der Nest said, reading the tweets. She decided to go with the dietitian's advice.

ADSA funded by members and sponsors, VDN said. Sponsors include Kellogg's, Pronutro, Equisweet, Unilever.

Mapholisa objects, questioning the relevance.


24 Nov 11:30

She believed Leenstra was misled by Noakes' information, JS (Julsing-Strydom) said.

JS says she just wanted to help Leenstra. She spoke to Leenstra telephonically and told her not to do LCHF diet. She didn't charge her because Leenstra was not her patient, JS said.


24 Nov 11:25
Leenstra (who tweeted to Noakes about the LCHF plan for her baby) has complained of no harm to her or her child, Van Der Nest said. ADSA has also not suffered any harm, he continued.

24 Nov 11:23

Julsing-Strydom reiterates that Noakes is a trusted medical practitioner.

He is highly regarded and people believe what he says to be 100% true, she says. According to literature, this [his diet] is not true.


24 Nov 11:21

"Maybe I overreacted," Julsing-Strydom concedes on the tweer, but argued that Noakes could have lodged a complaint against her if he took exception to their interaction.

(Noakes's) Tweets contradict guidelines, and health practitioners are led by these guidelines, she urges.

The ADSA had had meetings with Noakes in 2013 to discuss the fact that he was "not giving evidence-based advice". She said she believed the information was dangerous.

Van Der Nest asked Julsing-Strydom if she believed it is correct that someone who has a view considered unconventional should be struck off the roll.

She says no. But he needs to prove his opinion, she insisted.


24 Nov 11:19
Van der Nest: Would you be upset if you were prosecuted for your beliefs? Strydom: Yes

24 Nov 11:16
Van der Nest: You believe you are entitled to your opinions and that they are backed up by science? Julsing-Strydom: Yes, but ...

24 Nov 11:15
Van der Nest said it (Julsing-Strydom's tweet) was a negative reflection on Noakes, and according to the the booklet on ethics, a practitioner should not cast reflection on another's practice or skill.

24 Nov 11:11
Referring to the booklet on ethical duties, Van Der Nest asked Strydom asked if the word "horrified" is a disparaging word. She responded that she was also a mother of a baby and she was horrified by the advice being given.

24 Nov 11:10

Is it your habit to do tweets all in capital letters with exclamation marks, Van der Nest asked Julsing-Strydom.

"I am horrified, how can you give advice like this?" Julsing-Strydom had tweeted Noakes on 6 February 2014. This after Ellmer had tweeted her advice to Leenstra.


24 Nov 11:07
Ellmer (who had advised against the LCHF diet for babies) told Twitter user Pippa Leenstra, who asked for the advice, to email her directly so that she could explain, while Noakes did not do this, Van der Nest said.

24 Nov 11:06
Thomas Wilson writes: “Going great, less tantrums! Better eating habits. Getting them to eat was a mission. But going great.”

24 Nov 11:03
"Don't let Mr Van Der Nest upset you," HPCSA chair tells Julsing-Strydom.

24 Nov 11:02

Famous or infamous, we all know someone on the LCHF eating plan, so Food24 undertook a survey in October last year to ask some simple questions.

There were an incredible 7,359 respondents over a two-week period, the majority of which were between the ages of 30 – 45 and female (68.98%). There were those in in their fifties undertaking the diet (11.93%) – with the “missing in actions” below the ages of 23.


24 Nov 10:57

“My little one is thriving on the banting way of eating. Best thing that could have happened for her.

“To understand this witch hunt of Tim we need to understand the motives of the accusers. With all their science they don't seem to make any headway against the obesity and poor health of our nation.

“If I had a weight problem there is no ways I would go to any of them for advice. Theirs is a money making model that ensures lifelong enslavement to a continuous cycle of dieting it seems,” Louis van Zyl tells News24.


24 Nov 10:55
The hearing has been adjourned for five minutes. Julsing-Strydom appears to be flustered and accused Van der Nest at laughing at her.

24 Nov 10:48
Advice on social media platforms must be evidence based, Julsing-Strydom argued. You must have an understanding on what would impact the advice you are giving. She, herself, has also been approached for advice, which she didn't give.

24 Nov 10:48

News24 user Antoinette Jordaan tells us: “I used to have great respect for Tim Noakes, but his one size fits all approach is really wrong.

“And to tell parents to not breastfeed their kids? This is how nature designed it to work, yet now suddenly this man wants to tell us that nature was wrong?

“I think that each person must find the eating programme that works for them, from an emotional and from a dietary perspective. You take away my carbs, I will probably break down emotionally!”


24 Nov 10:42
Marlene Ellmer, a registered paediatric dietitian, responded to the tweet and advised against the LCHF diet for a baby. This was not an interaction between a doctor and patient, it was participation on an information forum. Noakes was not the only one who weighed in on the question, Van der Nest says.

24 Nov 10:34

Noakes's lawyer now cross-examining Van der Nest. The lawyer says: The tweet was addressed to the co-author of the Real Meal Revolution as well as Noakes. ?

Sally-Ann Creed: Committee will later "learn a little more about Twitter". Van der Nest admits he knows very little about Twitter.


24 Nov 10:27
Noakes had submitted a staggering 4 000 pages of research for the hearing.

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