Jennifer Elliott vs Dietitians Association of Australia
This is my second guest blog post. It is written by Jennifer Elliott, an Australian dietitian who has become well known this year, in the diet and health on line community, for having been de-registered by her professional body: the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). Her case has led to her employer taking the extraordinary position that “Nutritional advice to clients must not include a low carbohydrate diet…” Even more extraordinary when you discover that Jennifer’s advice was being given in the context of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and she was merely suggesting that people with an inability to handle glucose/carbohydrate (i.e. diabetics) may benefit from consuming less of it. Here Jennifer shares her story, with links to her blogs, for those who would like to know more.
In Jennifer’s own words…
“I have been a dietitian for 35 years and for over 10 years have recommended carbohydrate restriction to clients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and insulin resistance (IR).
This was not my practice in the early days. When I graduated in 1979, the Australian Dietary Guidelines had just been released. We were taught that these guidelines were the basis of a healthy diet for everyone and for many years I believed this.
I converted my parents to a low-fat, almost vegetarian diet, with plenty of wholegrain carbs, fruits and vegetables. I was part of the new generation of dietitians who were spreading the word about healthy “complex carbohydrates”, as they were then known.
When I started a family, I took it a step further by moving to the country for the best lifestyle possible for my children; home grown/ home cooked vegetarian meals, little processed foods, plenty of outside play and TV time limited to what my now adult children refer to as deprivation levels.
Two of my children thrived in this environment – healthy, energetic and lean – but my middle daughter, Jeanne, was different. She gained weight around the tummy at an early age, seemed to have less energy than her siblings, was a mouth-breather, suffered with reflux and could be moody at times. All signs I now recognise as relating to insulin resistance (IR).
At around 12 years of age she gained a lot of weight quite quickly and by age 14 was borderline obese. And I was at loss to explain why.
I am forever grateful for what happened next. I was in the right place at the right time to meet a GP whose family situation was remarkably similar to mine: three slim, high energy, eat-what-they-like children and one with a weight problem. After hearing about the presence of IR in young, seemingly healthy children (and not just in people with diabetes as she had been taught), this GP had her daughter tested and suggested the same for Jeanne. A two-hour Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT), with the addition of five insulin measures, showed normal blood glucose levels (BGLs) but a high insulin response, fitting the diagnostic criteria for IR.
Fifteen years ago, my knowledge about IR was limited to its connection with type 2 diabetes. The significance for a 14 year old with normal BGLs was a mystery to me.
The research begins
I started with a Google search of IR, which brought up 1.3 million entries and the accompanying question of why hadn’t I been taught any of this?
I narrowed my search down a little and started reading. It wasn’t like researching for a school assignment that I had no interest in. This was finding out what was happening biochemically to my daughter, as well as five million other people in Australia with this condition. It was fascinating. Answers to all the pieces of the puzzle were in the literature and I found explanations for Jeanne’s mouth breathing and snoring; why the weight went on predominantly around her tummy; why she seemed not to have an off-switch when it came to eating at times; her mood swings, reflux and lack of energy.
Carbs and insulin
It was clear that higher than normal insulin levels were to blame and that a diet designed to reduce these levels is what was needed. It was also clear that a reduced carbohydrate diet was the way to go. We started experimenting with different diet approaches, and, with instant feedback available from what I jokingly called my live-in guinea pig, I learnt more than would ever be possible from just the literature or in a clinical setting. This experience was invaluable.
The diet we settled on was very low carb during the day, but allowing some carbs in the evening meal. For Jeanne, the eating plan was generally eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado for breakfast; protein and salad at lunch; protein and veggies for the evening meal with some carbohydrate in the form of fruit, yoghurt or dark chocolate, etc.
This worked well: no excessive hunger, good energy levels, even moods, no reflux and easily maintained healthy weight. Jeanne has now been eating this way for many years and has maintained all those positive changes. She doesn’t think of herself as being “on a diet”, because as she says, “This is just the way I eat”.
Advising clients on low carb (LC) diets
Before I started advising clients on a lower carb approach for IR and T2D, I anticipated the FAT problem. One of the main arguments against LC is that such diets are higher in fat, particularly saturated fat, and the belief that this will increase the risk for heart disease. Although this is not bourne out in clinical trials, where an improvement in lipid profiles is generally observed, I realised that I didn’t know enough to argue a case for a higher fat diet if I was taken to court (my benchmark).
To be fully confident in recommending my new LC diet approach to clients, I started researching what I, and I believe all dietitians who have qualified since, have never been taught: the basis for the diet/heart hypothesis.
The end result was the publication of my paper: Flaws, Fallacies and Facts: Reviewing the Early History of the Lipid and Diet/Heart Hypotheses and confidence that the diet/heart hypothesis is so flawed that it should not be used as the basis of diet recommendations.
I cautiously introduced the idea of my new approach to GPs in my area. I explained that I would be trialling restricted carbs to people who fit the diagnostic criteria of Metabolic Syndrome and were therefore likely to be IR (high triglycerides, elevated BGLs, central weight, low High Density Lipoprotein and high Blood Pressure). I asked that recent biochemistry be provided and rechecked after three months to assess effects of the diet and that medications, especially BP and blood glucose lowering meds, be monitored and reduced if required.
The results were as expected; weight loss, improved BGLs and reduction in medications.
One example of the benefits of carb reduction was seen in a man with T2D, who after 7 weeks on a LC diet stopped taking insulin, lost 13 kg and reduced his HbA1c from 10.7 to 7.7 mmol/l.
Charged with using a “non-evidence-based” dietary approach
For the last 10 years, GPs have been referring patients to me because of the diet approach I use and the results they have seen in their clients. That all changed recently when a dietitian initiated an inquiry into my use of LC diets, alleging that they are not evidence based.
My work places and the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) conducted investigations into the allegation. I was confident that the verdict would be in my favour, not only because of the positive results clients were achieving, but also because I was following the latest guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, as is recommended practice for dietitians in Australia.
I was deregistered by the DAA in May 2015, for reasons that are not entirely clear. It appears that they didn’t like the way I kept notes on one client.
It is also apparent that the DAA endorses a regular intake of carbohydrate foods for management of various conditions including diabetes and obesity.
Based entirely on my deregistration from the DAA, the Southern New South Wales Local Health District (LHD) dismissed me and have instructed that dietitians in the LHD must follow DAA’s recommendations for diabetic diets, and are prohibited from advising clients on low carb approaches. And if any of the GPs, who used to refer to me, ask for LC advice for their patients, they will be advised “a low carbohydrate intake diet is not currently supported by the DAA”.
Richard Feinman, Professor of Metabolism and Cell Biology at the State University of New York, made an innocent offer of help last year, which morphed into another full-time job for him. He has read all the correspondence and decisions, offered to discuss the science behind LC with the DAA (was refused) and has been as incredulous as myself with the final decisions.
I have written about this fiasco on my blog and have received incredible support from people all over the world. Letters in support of LC diets as well as calls for my reinstatement have been sent to the DAA and Health Ministers. Whereas I was once quite hopeful that these voices would be listened to, it looks like I was a little optimistic.
Loss of employment and being forced out of my comfort zone has led to some unexpected developments. I’m looking at extending the content of my book into a 12-week online program for people with T2D, and there’s a chance a local GP surgery will join with a NSW university in a clinical trial comparing the LC approach I recommend with standard higher carb advice.
When we could see the way it was headed, Professor Feinman asked how I would feel if I didn’t get my job back but my case became a catalyst for change. Increased awareness of the benefits of LC would be a start and perhaps many more people would hear that T2D and IR can be managed and often reversed with carb restriction. I’d definitely be happy with that.”
I first came across Jennifer when I read her paper, referenced above. I highly recommend reading it. Jennifer was working from the other side of the world in a similar area to me – examining the evidence base for our global dietary guidelines. Jennifer found that there was no evidence. I have found the same. We have both challenged our respective governments to show us the evidence. Both have failed.
This was bad enough. What happened next beggared belief. The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), declared war on one of their own members; deregistered a highly experienced, research-driven practitioner and took away the job, income and livelihood of a committed professional, whose only crime was to try to improve the health of her clients. And Jennifer didn’t just try; she succeeded. Against all measures that matter: weight; reliance upon medications; blood glucose levels; blood lipid levels; health; energy and so many more.
If the DAA position were evidence based, other approaches that work should still be embraced. Nothing that can help patients should be dismissed. The fact that the DAA position is not evidence based, just makes their stance worse. I think that Jennifer sealed her fate when she wrote that brilliant paper, challenging everything that she had been taught. Credit to her, you would think, but no. The paper was published in October 2014 and the DAA executed their revenge soon afterwards.
I sincerely hope that Richard Feinman is right and that this case will be a catalyst for change. It needs to be. Something good needs to come from this because, as it stands, this has been a lose, lose, lose for everyone: a personal loss for Jennifer; a huge loss of credibility and reputation for the DAA; and an immense loss for patients who are being denied the opportunity to benefit from anything other than conventional advice.
Just as a final thought, here are the sponsors of the Dietitians Association of Australia. Jennifer didn’t stand a chance.
74 thoughts on “Jennifer Elliott vs Dietitians Association of Australia”
I’ve just found this conversation after looking for reasons why members of the DAA have been dismissed. Unfortunately being an old case the DAA website mentions nothing except a statement and a broken link to the extract of what happened and the specific reasons for expulsion.
I’ve recently started my expedition in nutrition science with a bachelors degree, and want to be evidence-based but feel from looking at many angles of food and nutrition there is much conflict and disagreement. If you read this Zoe, just wondering if we could have a conversation some point and maybe some advice on what direction I can take to not fall into any traps. I believe absolute altruism and transparency should be of the highest order when it comes to diet. And our sole position in life as health providers should be to put ourselves out of a job due to continued success rates and spreading of real evidence-based information. I’m only getting started and ready for a long hard fight.
So fascinated to read all the comments. My husband came back from a meeting where Jennifer was a guest speaker. He was enthusiastic for me as I have always struggled with being a bit overweight despite “trying to do the right thing”. I was excited but sceptical. When I read that Jennifer had been dismissed from DAA, I put the book back on my bookshelf.
Recently someone I met at a weekend away told me about losing weight with the Keto diet (seems to be trendy). However (very early days for me) but I am realising that even healthy carbs (which I admit I love) could be my downfall. Now I am rereading Jennifer’s book and am excited for me but am appalled at Jennifer’s dismissal which seems along that trendy ketogenic lines. I live on the South Coast of NSW (between Batemans Bay and Moruya). If Jennifer lives somewhere near there (and I suspect she does?) I would love to meet her. Could you please pass my email address to her. Thank you
I’ve just forwarded this to Jennifer – hopefully you’ll hear from her.
Best wishes – Zoe
Thank you for forwarding this to me, Zoe. I’ll contact Liz today.
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Well now that the Diabetes Australia has a position statement on low carb diets being BENEFICIAL, for the right patients, released august 2018, all this silly nonsense can stop. A law suit for loss of income, damage to reputation etc should be in order I think. Just like they did to Dr Gary Fettlek
A belated email. T1D for 51 years, retired GP – evolved my own form of low carb diet by trial and error.
Interesting that a dietitian is de-registered and a Health Authority rules out low carb diet in 2015 yet has a doctor in Australia ever been de-registered for advising a low carb diet, higher fat ? Also NHS has ‘finally’ endorsed low carb diets (this year I believe ?) I cannot find whether DAA has in any way endorsed low carb diet, but if not, how can they continue to hold Australian dietitians and the overweight, diabetics etc hostage and why do the Ministers of Health, Federal and State , allow this stupidity to persist ?
google on an orthopaedic surgeon Gary Fettke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82JUWczS5mQ
he was cited I think for “inappropriately reversing a patient’s type 2 diabetes”
Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was put on a low carb diet by my endo, 30 years ago for pre-diabetes. I was in my 20’s, and it improved my energy and brain power so much, I just stuck with it. Now I am 56 and I have watched all my friends and family grow fat and sick, while I have stated slender, healthy and energetic. I an convinced that this the low carb diet (ketogenic) is the Fountain of Youth.
My mom got Alzheimer’s, and I have been reading like a manic about that. I found a book called “Alzheimer’s solved” by Dr. Henry Lorin. I read every word. He basially says that our brains are made of of fat, and if an elderly person is not eating enough dietary fat, the liver takes the fat from the brain and gives it to the skin, which starves the hippocampus, and triggers the domino effect of Alzheimer’s.
I’ve noticed that the incidence of Alzheimer’s has increased since the 1980’s, along with obesity and diabetes. My personal opinion is that the food pyramid, with its emphasis on carbs and shunning fat, has caused this Alzheimer’s epidemic. I wish some medical person, maybe you, could track people on the ketogenic diet, to see what percentage of those get Alzheimer’s. Maybe fat is the simple but elusive fix for Alzheimer’s, like vitamin C was for scurvy.
Hi Carolyn, Have you read Dr David Perlmutter’s ‘Grain Brain’? Brilliant. A neurologist advocating LCHF, and easy read, riddled with references.
My late Grandfather ( 1908-1998) was an insulin contolled diabetic. Im not sure when he was diagnosed but it was before I was born in 1963.
He was on a srtrict diet where he was allowed a very small amount of carbohydrate. I remember this consisting of a small new potato with his main meal. Breakfast was eggs and the rest of his meals very Harcome in their make up. He never ate inbetween meals. It simply was not encouraged. He walked every day, never had a hospital admission, was never ill, and rarely went to see his GP.
He remained fit and healthy and looked after himself until unfortunately his dog ran in front of him
he tripped and fell and died of complications from the fall.
As a qualified RGN I am at a loss to understand why advice and guidelines changed.
As a DAA registered dietitian all this makes me want to do is deregulated myself, read Elliott’s work and get on with helping my clients. Good luck to you!
Hi. I’ve heard there are quite a few dietitians unhappy with DAA, and even think they are doing harm to the profession and losing credibility with the public. Dietitians only need to have qualifications making them eligible for membership to be employed in hospitals etc. If I hadn’t been a member I would still have my job. Grrr
Sorry mistake. Stopped bp meds 2 weeks ago
I have been doing low carb. Lost a stone and a half. Stopped my bp meds 2 months ago. When I take my blood pressure sometimes it can be 160 over 90. Then if I take it again straight away it might be 125 over 85 or 140 over 85. Should I be worried about this or will it eventually stabilise. Thanks
I’m not a doctor so you may want to talk anything medical through with your doctor. I do know that BP varies widely throughout the day. In the past, when I have needed to measure my BP (post an operation – it was very low!), I was advised to take the resting BP first thing in the morning, after getting out of bed, but before the dog walk or breakfast. The time of day affects BP, what you have been doing in the last minute/hour affects it, whether or not you’ve eaten recently, what you’ve eaten, what you’re doing, whether or not you talk while measuring the BP. This is about as accurate as a child’s guess at the number of sweets in a jar!
This may be of general interest https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2014/06/diabetes-cholesterol-bp-normal-is-no-longer-normal/
It may be a good idea to keep a BP diary for a few days and try to record the BP several times a day at the same times e.g. on waking, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm etc – then you’ll see what’s normal for you at different times of day. You are what counts – not the general population.
Best wishes – Zoe
I found this story shocking but in retrospect not surprising given the levels of denial that I also see here in the U.S., where the American Dietetic Association recommends a high carb diet to T2D sufferers, and the American Heart Association gives its “Heart Healthy” recommendation to sugar coated cereals. I do hope Jennifer survives the financial and social upheaval in her life and comes out of this in a better place. And after what we’ve learned about the ADD, not being a member seems like a very positive thing.
Hi Kent. I’ve adjusted to the changes pretty well thank you :). There’s also been positives in that I’ve been really motivated to stop procrastinating on projects I’ve had on the go for ages, and am actually now finishing. The support I’ve had from so many people has definitely made it easier too.
About 2 years ago, a friend recommended the GP she’d been seeing for weight loss. As this special diet had enabled her to lose a lot of weight, I signed up too, and it turned out to be a low carb diet. I decided to try it, as nothing else seemed to be working and I was heading towards T2DM if I didn’t do something about the almost 40 kg I’d put on since having kids. I’m not blaming the kids, as I had been a fat kid and had tried all sorts of diets since then, classic yo-yo pattern. With hindsight, my weight had started to get out of control when I started to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which at the time told us to ‘eat mostly’ carbs.
Going low carb, I lost 18 kg over about 3 months – could have lost more, but I hit a stressful patch and started eating carbs again. I regained about 5 kg very quickly, then dropped the carbs a lot and weight stabilised. At this point, I knew almost nothing about low carb and ketosis. I knew that the low carb diet had worked, but didn’t know how and why. Then a few months ago, the news about Jennifer Elliott hit social media, when I was in the middle of researching the scientific background to the proposed revision of the US dietary guidelines. The scientific evidence underpinning the US DG flows through to the UK, Australia and New Zealand (I’m not familiar with official guidelines in South Africa, sorry). I started learning about low carb in much more depth, and would consider myself more at intermediate stage now.
Between looking at official dietary guidelines across the Anglophone countries, and low carb, I realised the complete conflict of interest that has taken over the world of nutritional science as well as medical management of chronic conditions that can be prevent, modified or cured by lifestyle change such as diet and exercise. As Zoe and many others have found, the science behind our DG just doesn’t add up. Worse than that, the scientists already knew that going high carb would push up blood triglycerides and glucose levels, and increase the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes – but they recommended it anyway.
I have come to the conclusion that although the DAA claim that dietitians are evidence-based health professionals, I think that they are brain-washed health professionals. Australian dietitians have to follow the party line, which the DAA dictates to meet the interests of its sponsors, not the Australian public. Interesting that one of the DAA’s major sponsors, the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, no longer appears on their webpage – perhaps that arrangement has ended, or perhaps they are now a ‘silent partner’?
I’m now back on low carb, because it is the only eating pattern that works for my body to lose and manage weight. I am like Jennifer’s description of her daughter Jeanne – no one else in my family has a weight problem. I’m going to work on the remaining excess kg, with more conviction now that I understand how low carb works.
Zoe – sorry to have written a long post, hope I haven’t clogged up your page. Jennifer – I’m working on a response or two to your blog as well. To both of you, and others, don’t give up this fight, it’s too important.
Hi there – no apology needed – many thanks for sharing your story. I know Jennifer is looking at the comments and she will enjoy every example of someone gaining health and losing weight in the same way, and for the same reasons, that she has so often seen.
Good luck with your health goals
Best wishes – Zoe
Ralf Sundbergs book “Forskningsfusket! Så blir du lurad av kost- och läkemedelsindustrin” (unfourtunately only in Swedish) uncovers the history behind nutritional organizations: They are established (or early penetrated) by food manufactures! So it is completely pointless to think they can be changed. It will not ever happen. Instead of fighting them, we should ignore them completely.
This is the first time I’ve come across this and I live in Australia. I’m not a dietician or nutritionist but I have been researching a healthy diet and health in general for the last 6 years and what I do know is that there is more than ample evidence out there that a low carb (preferrably high good fat) diet is best for every person, and in particular anyone with T2D or IR.
It doesn’t surprise me in the least that our Dietitians Association have taken this stance. This is exactly why many people in this country have absolutely NO RESPECT for this association. For some inexplicable reason, they just don’t care what is best for the health of our nation. David Gillespsie an aussie who has written several books on sugar etc, for some years now has tried to confront the DAA and the Australian Heart Foundation with their lack of integrity and outright promotion of unhealthy foods to a trusting public. It falls on deaf ears. Seriously, the members of these two associations must be both deaf and blind because it would be impossible to avoid the multitude of information available otherwise.
You would think that instead of deregistering Jennifer Elliott, the DAA would have been eager to read Jennifer’s case studies and understand how her approach has IMPROVED the health of her patients but no, they didn’t want to know about it. This tells me they are not to be trusted.
I can only hope that, one day, someone with a lot of money, decides to sue the DAA for providing incorrect dietary advice (and forcing their memebers to do the same) and causing harm to the health of millions of trusting people. I’m sure one day, someone will start the ball rolling and I will be cheering them on.
In the meantime, I will continue to ignore the advice of the DAA and Heart Assoc. and take care of my own health based on good science, research and the recommendations of health professionals such as Jennifer Elliott.
Please don’t feel defeated Jennifer. Keep up your good work as we need open minded intelligent professionals such as yourself.
Anecdotally a number of doctors in the UK have admitted to their diabetics that they have been specifically instructed NOT to encourage, or even discuss, alternatives to HCLF diets, and of course that they MUST NOT prescribe test strips to Type 2s, or non-insulin users.
Theoretically any doctor found in possession of well controlled diabetics could trigger an investigation, not to find out how they achieved this in order to benefit other patients, but with a view to disciplinary action for “failing to adhere to NICE Guidleines/PCT Protocols”.
I don’t know if this has ever actually happened (yet) but it has to doctors who have “overtreated” or “overdiagnosed” hypothyroid.
Said Guidelines and Protocols result in less than 10% of Type 1s and 25% of Type 2s achieving an A1c below 6.5% and NHS stats show this for the best part of a decade now, during which time the number of diabetics has increased hugely. This should be an appalling wake-up call.
Meanwhile in Scotland SIGN guidelines
actually permit but do not recommend the use of low carb diets thanks largely to Dr Katharine Morrisson, it would be interesting to see if this has yet had any effect on Scottish compared to English diabetes stats.
Jennifer Elliott is one of an ongoing number of Show Trials (Annika Dahlqvist, Tim Noakes etc.) It looks to me as if Conventional Wisdom has its back against the wall as ever increasing numbers of patients, a few doctors and a now huge body of research rejects it and the huge profits it generates come under threat.
How interesting! Thanks so much for this. We are aware of a Katharine pioneer in Scotland – we’ll check if there are two!
Best wishes – zoe
You’ll find her here
You used to also find her here
but it looks like the website has gone
I started a low carb (40 grams,day) diet in April of 2015.
To date I have lost 22 pounds, drop my fasting blood to 122 from >200. My A1c dropped from 7.4 to 6.4 . I have never felt better. I am 75 and yes, 40 grams is the number. While in the hospital for open heart surgery I requested low carb meals. My average meal was 125 grams/ day. A side benefit was a lack of hunger.
This just beggars belief! How can they be so appallingly stupid on so many levels?
What are they so afraid of? Did they not do basic science at school? Do they not know how diabetes was controlled before the discovery of insulin?
Following such guidelines is what made me ill and overweight. Thank goodness for the internet so I could do my own research and find out the truth. It’s a hard one to reverse, but getting there.
All the best to jennifer Elliott.
In the UK one can be accredited as a Nurutional Therapist. NTs use diet to manage the body’s resourses in the face of illness and disease. I nearly completed one such course, but stopped for personal reasons. In Australia there is Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA). I presume they have a similar ethos as the UK BANT. The one thing UK BANT is strong on is truth in nutrition and practitioners are encoraged to research and keep exploring the rich subject of nutrition. I would expect ANTA to be the same. I have been T2D diagnosed in 2000, but manged by a LC diet for 13 years with some medication, but no symptoms of degeneration. Fortunately I dscovered the lipid hypothesis and HCLF diet were bunk over 10 years ago. It is clear these drivers keep drug companies in high profitability and Jennifer is yet another victim and I do feel for her.
I posted a comment yesterday. Has it been marked as spam or is there a delay in commenets to be posted?
Many thanks for the alert – it had gone into spam because of a link. Just posted it now
Best wishes – Zoe
I found my first comment. Thanks.
:-) They can sometimes take a few hours – especially if posted during UK sleeping hours :-)
I have been figuring out a lot of dietary stuff on my own without any medical advice mainly because western medicine is so captured by vested interests and few medicos have critical facultie enough to critique the assumptions they practise under. The impacts of carbs in my case cannot be overstated. The keto regime has worked a treat re weight loss, energy, cognitive function, mood. 65% fat 30% protein and 5 % carbs would turn things around. I recently trialled and reintroduced bread (1 loaf of organic spelt sourdough per week) but lost all benefits gained. So am back on keto. I am rarely hungry and have only berries and a bit of yoghurt and coconut cream with stevia for sweets. Thank god there are mavericks in this world prepared to critically reflect and research beyond orthodoxy. Thanks to Jennifer and Zoe for your work. It is Sooo appreciated.
Hi Angela – many thanks for sharing this. Thank goodness also that there are free-thinking individuals not in awe of white coats!
To your continued good health
Best wishes – Zoe
Thanks for this guest post. I had read about this shocking story online, and it was interesting to learn the details. I especially liked the personal story about her daughter, and how that caused her to re-think what she had been taught. Yet another person (among many of us!) who at one time believed the conventional advice, only to learn, through personal experience, that it was not good advice. We are the truly non-biased “researchers”, as we at one time believed what we were told. I wish certain people could take our personal experiences more seriously….
I pray that Jennifer goes on to bigger and better things. Good luck, and know that you have many people supporting you!
A belated thank you for your support, Lisa. The best thing is seeing the increasing awareness around LC; change is happening at last and it’s more driven by the public and social media than the organisations that should be leading. Doesn’t really matter how it happens though, as long as it does :)
I am 75 years old. I have followed LCHF for 8,5 years. I now have the same weight 60 kg that I had when I graduated at 19 years of age. At most I was a heavyweight of 101 kg.
I have a good life my diabetes type 2 that needed 70 units of insulin each day is nonexistant. My HbA1c is 40%.
I live in Sweden.
Great story and Thank You – Jennifer for doing what any normal logical person would do – “give the best advice possible”….. our common sense has lead us to abandon ADD guidelines for Type1 and impliment a Low carb – Low Insulin approach to the management of T1d – with proven results from our family…. our research of thousands of other people living the same way to achieve Normal Blood Glucose levels is the evidence that the ADD needs – HOWEVER that may upset the SPONSORS – like Nestle…What are they doing on there?
I am a T2 diabetic with a lifelong weight problem and mennorrhagia from the age of 12, I developed endometrial cancer at the age of 40 resulting in a Hysterectomy and removal of ovaries. Broke my heart, no more kids.
Now, 18m ago, I discovered low carbing for DM. My health is transformed, 9.5 stone weight loss, non diabetic blood tests.
If only someone had told me about this when I was a teenager, none of this would have happened and I could have reversed my DM. My old pancreas is gasping along now, only able to cope with 10-15g carb at a time. Not a lot. However I will continue to keep my blood glucose normal, it is my health for the rest of my life.
Please carry on spreading the good word. You are saving lives.
I really don’t understand the rabid anti low carb bloc. It’s incredible, defies logic!
Thanks so much for sharing this. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get my head around the harm that humans have done to each other as a result of closed minds :-(
All the best for the rest of your life in good health
Best wishes – Zoe
Well, my child has type 1 diabetes and the dietitian told us “there is no such thing as a diabetic diet any more and you can eat what ever you want, even McDonalds “. So we did the opposite and started a low carb healthy fat diet resulting in normal blood sugars and hba1c of 4.9. I’m so happy that my child will keep all his limbs and eye sight.
Great article! I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20’s and am lucky enough to now have 3 beautiful children. I’ve always worried my girls (2) may suffer what I went through, and so I have done a bit of reading over the years to try and understand what is a complex relationship between our bodies and what we eat, particularly in relation to PCOS and weight gain. My eldest daughter (10 years) has started showing signs of what may be issues with insulin resistance – snoring, tiredness, weight gain (especially around the middle). I’ve recently been trying to adapt our eating to a LCHF way, and realise now that it’s not just myself that benefits but my children too! I’m happily following you on twitter and Facebook and look forward to reading the many articles and advice there. Thank you!
Zoe, I wrote to the DAA and the health minister in support of Jennifer and asking that they hold an inquiry. The DAA replied denying, implausibly, that the low-carb advice was the reason for Jennifer’s de-registration. Their response was third rate and their website is as bad.
The DAA said only one thing of interest. They claimed that Jennifer had chosen not to engage in the disciplinary process or speak at a hearing. Is this true? If so, she may have had a very good reason, but I can’t help wondering if it didn’t make things easier for the DAA.
Regardless, I wish Jennifer well and I hope she continues to find a way to publicise her advice to diabetics. I hope the day comes when the DAA regrets its vindictive and stupid decision.
Jennifer, I am behind you 200%. You are right. You are doing “the right thing” in standing your ground. The “shit has now hit the fan”, I congratulate you for being assertive and outspoken on behalf of the client community’s needs… needs which the DAA “turn a blind eye (and ear) to”. It is clear where their values and priorities are. I am proud of you for being the person who has focussed everyone’s attention upon the DAA’s corruption. They can’t have it “both ways” (bias towards sponsors and meet the expectations of clients). It is the federal government’s responsibility to step in, hold an enquiry, and set things right. I would welcome media (current affairs programs) becoming involved to push it along.
Hi Frances. A few months down the track now and the fan is working overtime :)
The focus on LC, DAA and Diab Australia continues to grow. Great that the CSIRO paper on LC for diabetes is getting coverage at present too. Thank you again for your support; it really means a lot.
“Always Hungry?: Conquer cravings, retrain your fat cells and lose weight permanently” by David S. Ludwig MD PhD to be Published on the 7th of Jan 2016.
This appears to authoritatively back up both yours and Jennifer Elliott’s position on diet.
7 years I lost my I lost my left kidney to cancer 3 years ago I had 6 tumours removed from my left kidney.
I was 133 kgs, I’ve been on LCD for 12 months, I’ve lost 18 kgs, I’ve been taken of high blood pressure meds.
My blood pressure is good, I feel great my doctor told me my blood chemistry is perfect, Ian on cholesterol medication and that’s down to 4.5.
For the first time in my life I am in control of my weight, health and life.
Thank you to people like Jennifer Elliott who deal in facts and are brave enough to challenge the ignorant fools of the DAA
One day – maybe not so far off – this could lead to a BIG class action law suit. What those people did is at least as bad as the tobacco scandal.
You may find Amy Berger’s blog interesting. She’s running a series of articles on insulin: http://www.tuitnutrition.com/
I looked at Amy Berger’s blog. Oh, dear!
Nigel – too many comments purely trying to get traffic to your site – link above removed; other comments spammed. You’re now spammed.
Best wishes – Zoe
This just reflects the bias that manifests itself wherever the interests of Big Argo/Pharma are threatened by inconvenient truths. It is beyond laughable that the DAA claim there is no clinical evidence for a LC diet but effectively force a diet for which there is no clinical evidence that it works, but plenty that it fails, on to diabetic patients. To continue to promote such flawed advice in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary takes a special kind of idiot.
I was one of many who wrote to the Health Minster Jillian Skinner (an ex-journalist – well qualified for the job) in support of Jennifer providing a link to the Credit Suisse report (https://doc.research-and-analytics.csfb.com/docView?language=ENG&source=ulg&format=PDF&document_id=1053247551&serialid=MFT6JQWS%2b4FvvuMDBUQ7v9g4cGa84%2fgpv8mURvaRWdQ%3d ) as it covers, in a very professional presentation, fat in our diets. I could have linked to many other sources, but the whole premise of the carb biased diet is based on the fat is bad myth. I did not receive a reply – not that I really expected one.
Clearly not politically expedient to even raise the question as to whether the DAA are correct or not – mustn’t rock the boat lest you are thrown out.
Your link to the sponsors of the DAA provides at least part of the explanation for their stance. With such commercial influence the truth will not be allowed to surface and diabetics will continue to be betrayed by the very organisation that should be providing clinically based evidence for its policies.
The DAA should not need to rely upon commercial sponsorship; it should be funded by the government (taxpayer) and staffed by people with no conflict of interest. Doesn’t guarantee that the advice will be correct (NHS should be neutral but still gets dietary advice wrong – but that’s another story) but at least it would be a start.
I entirely agree with the need to remove the conflict of interest and the need for a broader based taxpayer funding via the federal government mechanism.
Iv’e been following the story and speaking with Jennifer along the way. Thanks for posting her story here for all to read. Her publication in peer review is a wonderful piece: file:///C:/Users/Jeff/Documents/Presentations/Evidence%20Papers/jennifer%20elliot%20FNS_2014101415580151.pdf
“The Time Has Arrived That The Tyranny Must End”
Your qualifications, experience, and knowledge qualifies you for many roles in your field. I’m a Texan, and here, we tend to “think big.” You’ve got the world’s attention. Write books, give speeches, speak at retreats, start your own radio show (internet, of course), charge money for weekly blogs, offer webinars for a fee, and travel around the world
sharing your story. It’s powerful. Now is your time to move to higher ground. I encourage you to “think big.” Move out of your comfort zone. From what I’ve heard about you, you just “outgrew” your own professional organization. Congrats…come to Texas. I’ll help promote you! Sincerely, Babs Hogan
Hi Babs. It’s a few months down the track and guess what? I’m giving talks, writing another book, been on radio and have almost finished a 12 week on-line program for diabetes. Thinking more like a Texan I reckon :) Thanks for your encouragement.
Zoe, would you mind passing my email address on to Jennifer please. I would like to get in touch.
I am an Australian type 2 diabetic who discovered shortly after my diagnosis in 2002 that the Diabetes Australia dietary advice, echoed by three different registered dieticians, was a disaster for me. I wrote this to them at the time: http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/2006/11/diabetes-authorities.html
I eventually stopped fighting an immmovable force and spent the years since on overseas diabetes web groups such as the ADA forum and DSFUK, where type 2 diabetics living with the condition were echoing those same thoughts. Every time I checked on our local scene I found the out-dated ideas of Rosemary Stanton still ruled supreme.
I am so sorry to read of this situation and would like to know if there is anything I can do in support.
I’ve passed your email on :-)
Best wishes – Zoe
Thanks Zoe. In touch now.
I am glad you mentioned Rosemary Stanton here. As far as I am concerned the unsubstantiated advice from “Australia’s (so called) Leading Nutritionist” as she was touted for decades… is the #1 reason I upped my carb intake (to 200g/day) and subsequently became T2DM (undiagnosed at the time), continued to gain weight and then had a stroke (2003)… which I fortunately survived. I made the mistake of not questioning her authority. I have kept her book “Eating for Peak Performance” as an example of “what not to do” to share with others, to demonstrate how having a high profile mouthpiece for agri-business can make slightly overweight people (such as myself back in the mid 90’s) very sick indeed within just a few years.
Re Rosemary Stanton – when she worked for the Australian Dairy Corporation she advised those of us with lactose intolerance to ‘drink a glass of milk every day as it won’t hurt you’. What a disgrace! A glass of milk has me on the bathroom floor passed out post-vomitting and post-diarrohea often in need of an ambulance. (Note: I didn’t do this on purpose, but inadvertently consumed it accidentally on occasion.) Obviously getting paid by the sponsors is more important to the DAA than giving accurate evidence-based advice.
Great post Zoe – disgraceful story – shared for effect…!
Have you seen this statement denying that Jennifer Elliot was dismissed because of her recommendations of a low carb diet?:
Many thanks for this Marilyn – I read that as – you are a very naughty girl for not doing exactly what the DAA says (including dishing out DAA advice without question) and therefore we are going to spank you.
I like Babs’ comment above – Jennifer outgrew them!
Best wishes – Zoe
So weird when plant-and-hearthealthywholegrain-based enthusiasts question whether a low-carb/high-fat/animal-based approach has any evidence. The answer is clearly YES:
Evidence for any carb intake more than minimal which is the default “healthy balanced diet” being efficacious? Donut. They’ve been trying for a century or more to prove it – still nothing but data-wrangling of useless epidemiology and so called “relative risk” factors of basically nought.
It all becomes clear “what’s what” when you check out the list of sponsors (I note cereal manufacturers group, nestle amongst them). The DAA position is clearly influenced towards favouring particular sponsors as the #1 priority, clients are #2 priority, ethical dieticians #3 priority. Passive compliant (“yes” men so-to-speak) dieticians are given preference over ethical assertive dieticians who stand their ground for financial reasons. It’s a case of “our way or the highway” attitude when push comes to shove.
I love the headline! Haha
I’m sure this event will be a catalyst for things to change. Maybe someone should start a low carb dietetics association.
I entirely agree. If the existing association can’t “get it’s act together” a new (and improved) association becomes a necessity. Out with the old, in with the new.
Here in the US we had a case where a gentleman from North Carolina, Steve Cooksey, who runs a site called Diabetes Warrior (http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/) was taken to court by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition for providing nutritional advice without a licence.
He won his case, sort of… He has had to stop his advice column and his coaching business (he was charging a fee for fairly intensive coaching on diet and exercise). But he hasn’t been completely shut down.
Steve’s modus operandi is to tell you what he did and how it worked for him. He publishes the details of his n=1 experiments — glucometer photos, food photos, nutritional breakdowns etc.
It’s up to the reader to decide if they want to follow his path or not.
Many thanks for this Hugh – I remember the case and had lost the link – I’ve book marked it now :-)
I’ve followed Jennifer’s story for many months.It is an unbelievable, appalling affair. As a fairly well read informal student of health and wellness, of original and modern diets, and the THINCS thinkers, I am gobsmacked.