Banting converts lend Noakes support at HPCSA hearing

2015-11-24 21:15
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Twitter opinion divided on Banting as Noakes hearing continues

2015-11-24 13:27

Banting maven Prof Tim Noakes faces the heat in a hearing regarding the infamous banting diet.WATCH

Cape Town - "It is a travesty that he needs to sit here and defend himself," a follower of Professor Tim Noakes's banting diet said from her seat in the audience at Tuesday’s proceedings.

This as Noakes appeared before the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) after being charged with unprofessional conduct.

"Before I started the low carb, high fat (LCHF) lifestyle, I was overweight and pre-diabetic. Today I am healthier than I have ever been. He saved my life."

The woman, who asked not to be named because she is "a little shy", was among a number of members of the public who have attended the proceedings in support of Noakes.

Earlier this year, Noakes - in a message posted on Twitter - advised a mother to wean her child on low carbohydrate, high fat foods.

The tweet read: "Baby doesn't eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF."


According to the HPCSA, he acted in a manner not in accordance with the norms and standards of the profession, by providing "unconventional advice on breast feeding babies".

Noakes on Monday said he didn’t regret the tweet.

"What I said is correct," he insisted.

The professor, who has submitted 4 000 pages of research for the hearing, greeted supporters who attended proceedings with a broad smile and a friendly wave.

"Thanks to him, I lost almost 20kg," another supporter said.

"We are living proof of what he is preaching."

During the lunch break, his supporters ate "banting snacks" which had been brought to the conference centre for those following the LCHF diet. 

Highly regarded

In her testimony on Tuesday, former Association for Dietetics in SA president Claire Julsing-Strydom said Noakes was a trusted medical practitioner who was "highly regarded and people believe what he says to be 100% true".

But the advice given to the breastfeeding mother, Julsing-Strydom maintained, was irresponsible.

Michael Van der Nest, SC, for Noakes, said the dieticians appeared bitter and resentful according to the comment section on a blog post about a talk by Noakes, which was posted on the site of Julsing-Strydom's practice.

She countered that this was not the case.

"They want paediatric guidelines, which back up the claims," she said.

Twitter not for medical advice

Expert witness Professor Esté Vorster said Twitter should not be used for medical advice and that an assessment should have been conducted before any advice was given.

"Professor Noakes’s response should have been to refer the breastfeeding mother to a registered dietitian for advice," she said.

Giving advice without an assessment was irresponsible, unprofessional and may do harm, Vorster added.

The matter resumes on Wednesday.

Read more on:    hpcsa  |  tim noakes  |  cape town  |  health

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