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Press release of email sent to RTE

Press release of email sent to RTE

It is now 20 working days since I wrote to you about the gross inaccuracy and bias shown on the programme What Are You Eating broadcast on the 8th of March.
Since my initial mail, I made a formal and updated detailed complaint to RTE as more information became available to me.
I would like RTE to acknowledge that serious mistakes were made in the interpretation and use of the data from the Tanita Segmental body analyzer used on the show.
These mistakes have been confirmed by email from the manufacturer of the analyser.
As a result of these mistakes, the main conclusion of the programme that Philip Boucher-Hayes lost 2% of his bone density and “a good 2Kg of muscle mass”  as a result of being on a plant-based vegan diet for 28 days can no longer be considered credible or trustworthy information.
I would like RTE to acknowledge this fact with a short apology to be broadcast just before the final programme  in the series is broadcast on Thursday the 19/04/2018 at 8.30pm.
I have made a very long and detailed complaint that alleges that the programme was biased, RTE may not agree with all my points but can RTE at least correct this main point promptly.
The details of my full complaint can be seen here http://www.dietisthekey.com/complaint_rte/
I would like to draw your attention to the programme, What Are You Eating, broadcast by RTE on Thursday 8th of March 2018 .Associated with this programme there were a number of promotional pieces for the show that also need to be investigated.
and on the Ray Darcy show of the same date https://www.facebook.com/rteradio1/videos/1673597606031269/
When you examine all three broadcasts, it is clear that all three transmissions contain factually incorrect information and are all biased and misleading. When you combine all three programmes, you can see the full extent of the pattern of biased and inaccurate reporting. All three broadcasts are the subject of this complaint.
To summarise what I see as the key problems with the programme:
  • The failure to speak about the impressive weight loss of  5Kg in a month
  • The failure to speak about the reduction in BMI
  • The failure to have a medical doctor review and speak about the raft of tests that Philip got done so much so that he said he felt like a pin cushion
  • To mislead and confuse  the public by wrongly classify a measurement on a fancy  body-fat scales as a bone scan, A bone scan is enhanced form of x-ray technology, ” he said  I had various scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition and so on so that we would have a really reliable ‘before and after”
  •   Despite referencing the Vegan poster campaigns around the country and doing a prolonged interview with Sandra Higgins an editorial decision was made to exclude her from the program
  •  Philip wrongly claimed a loss of 3% bone density on the Ray Darcy show on the 8th of March, the discredited data actually showed a 2% loss and wrongly claimed  “I’m not some dietary or biological freak – I’m pretty much an everyman. So if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to anybody else who tries to take on this diet. Wrong it’s not happening to everybody, in fact, your the first person that I have heard with this complaint.
  •  Philip claimed on the Ray Darcy show that his muscles went lopsided in the distribution of muscle mass, a claim that does not stand up to scrutiny and has been described as “un-lightly ” by the manufacturer of the body fat scales.
  • People who worked in health shops were described as crankey because they were vegetarian and needed a good steak.
  •  Vegans repeatedly were cast in a poor light, described a vegan diet as a fashionable and a fad diet, it portrayed the origins of Veganism in a negative manner and that until recently been a vegan was a lonely path with clips of two unkempt hairy hippie type guys from about 40 years ago and one lonely guy sitting on his own at the top of a mountain.
  • Aveen Bannon the consultant dietitian for the programme ‘What Are You Eating’, has stated in an email  that “not all of the key input variables were adhered to”, and she also stated they were “aware of the protocols required for more reliable readings but you will appreciate meeting them all is seldom practical”.Why then were figures of 2% loss in bone density considered a very serious health issue when the machine can have a difference of 2% between readings even under ideal conditions with all key variables been met which in this case they were not met.
  • The report from the Tanita Segmental body analyzer actually listed a 1.9Kg difference in muscle mass while on the show it said: “you lost a good 2 kg of muscle ” so even the purported muscle loss of 2 Kg was, in fact, inaccurate and an exaggeration of the flawed data.
  • The programme had no medical doctors or specialists on the show about the vegan diet despite all other shows that dealt with medical issues having medical experts on the show somehow the opinion of medical experts were not required on this show.
  •  Philip wrongly claimed that the World Health organisation never said processed meat is carcinogenic.
  • No mention of the of the improvement in his cholesterol which improved over the month.
  • Darina Allen well know chef talking about the beginning of the vegetarian craze again portraying non-meat eaters in a negative manner.
  •  Philip gave the three reasons he gives for people going vegan are 1 The influence of the internet, 2 Environmental concerns and 3 The worry about animal welfare, no mention of expected health benefits, weight loss, etc.;
  •  Philip said that beef is not intensively raised in Ireland which is wrong,  intensive beef farming is happening and promoted by Teagasc
 I feel that the programme does not meet the following guidelines from the BAI.
   Objectivity & Impartiality: The principles of objectivity and impartiality are concerned with ensuring that news and current affairs content is compiled, produced and presented in a manner which is and can be seen as independent, unbiased, and without prejudgement.
Accuracy & Responsiveness: Audiences are entitled to, and do, trust that the news and current affairs content they access from the broadcast media is accurate. Accurate information enables citizens to participate more fully in a democratic society. Accuracy is, therefore, a fundamental principle associated with the broadcast of news and current affairs content and should always take priority over the speed with which content can be delivered. It is also acknowledged that despite best efforts, inaccurate information can sometimes be conveyed, whether explicitly or implicitly. The principle of responsiveness is designed to ensure that broadcasters adopt fair, timely and appropriate remedies in handling the broadcast of inaccurate information.
Transparency & Accountability: the principles of transparency and accountability are concerned with ensuring that practices and procedures adopted by broadcasters in sourcing, compiling, producing and presenting news and current affairs are visible, open to scrutiny, robust and accessible
That all news broadcast by a broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster‘s own views,  that the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner
Regards
Joe McCormack
dietisthekey@gmail.com

 

Complaint to RTE re What Are You Eating broadcast by RTE on Thursday 8th of March

This is some notes that I am making available for feedback with regard to making a formal complaint about the programme. What Are You Eating broadcast by RTE on Thursday 8th of March and I am also considering making a complaint about the contents of  publicity on the Ray Darcy show on the same date http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F21330414%5F19148%5F08%2D03%2D2018%5F

 I would encourage people to make a complaint if they feel it is necessary and remind you if you wish to make a complaint you need to do so inside 30 days, however if you feel that there was a pattern of problems you can link two or more broadcasts together and extend the 30-day deadline.

I would like to draw your attention to the programme, What Are You Eating, broadcast by RTE on Thursday 8th of March 2018 .Associated with this programme there were a number of promotional pieces for the show that also need to be investigated. https://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/2018/0308/945877-is-veganism-as-healthy-as-people-think-it-is/
and on the Ray Darcy show of the same date https://www.facebook.com/rteradio1/videos/1673597606031269/
 
When you examine all three broadcasts, it is clear that all three transmissions contain factually incorrect information and are all biased and misleading. When you combine all three programmes, you can see the full extent of the pattern of biased and inaccurate reporting. All three broadcasts are the subject of this complaint.
 
At the outset, this complaint is going to be long and detailed and a little bit unusual in its format.The reason for this is that there were so many things wrong with the programmes and a large part of the complaint is that the programmes are biased not only by what was said but also biased by what was left out, there are many obvious things that should have been included in the programme. Proving that a programme is biased needs a detailed analysis of the programme. As I dont expect the committee members who review complaints to be familiar with the subtler points of the whole food plant-based vegan diet. I am going to give several examples of people and topics that any programme researcher would have discovered and would most lightly be included in the programme if they were not biased against a vegan diet. So to fully understand the problems with this programme the topics and people who were excluded from the programme are as important as the inaccuracies and biases on the programme.
 
The purpose of this complaint is to save lives, improve peoples health by getting the inaccuracies in the programme corrected and stop similar biased programmes been broadcast.
 I would like to remind the RTE committee reviewing this complaint that the public is entitled that production, reporting and questioning on any news or current affairs item are credible, trustworthy and editorially independent.
“Audiences are entitled to, and do, trust that the news and current affairs content they access from the broadcast media is accurate. Accurate information enables citizens to participate more fully in a democratic society. Accuracy is, therefore, a fundamental principle associated with the broadcast of news and current affairs content” “the principles of transparency and accountability are concerned with ensuring that practices and procedures adopted by broadcasters in sourcing, compiling, producing and presenting news and current affairs are visible, open to scrutiny, robust and accessible.
The manner in which persons and groups in society are represented shall be appropriate and justifiable and shall not prejudice respect for human dignity. Programme material shall not stigmatise, support or condone discrimination or incite hatred against persons or groups in society in particular.
 
 I believe this programme has done a great disservice to the public by adding to the confusion around what is healthy food.The food industry and any business that sells you unhealthy products thrive on uncertainty and misinformation, and it loves to propagate the notion that one day you’re told something is bad for you, the next week you’re told it is good for you. So people give up and continue to make unhealthy lifestyle choices because of the conflicting advice. By making nutrition advice seem confusing, they can continue to sell you unhealthy products.
I believe that RTE, by broadcasting this biased and factually inaccurate programme will influence many people to continue to eat food that will make them sick, keep them sick and shorten their lives.
This complaint has two distinct parts
The first part of the complaint is to highlight the type of topics that were not broadcast and the way I have done that is to describe what topics I would have covered if I was the producer of the show.
Leaving these topics out of the show leaves me in no doubt that the show was biased against a plant-based vegan diet from the beginning.
The second part of the complaint is a detailed analysis of the factual errors and what I perceive as biased information that was broadcast.
 
To understand why I think this programme is fundamentally flawed and biased against the plant-based diet let me give you an example of how I thought the programme should have been done and why I was so disappointed in it.
 
I was so looking forward to watching this programme as I was familiar with some of the programmes that Philip  Boucher-Hayes had done in the past and I considered him a good journalist and as head of head of RTÉ’s Radio Investigative Unit, I was confident that he would leave no stone unturned in the search for the truth about how a vegan diet would affect peoples health. He was the ideal man for the job as head of RTE investigative unit nobody was going to pull the wool over Philip’s eyes.
I had already visualised how the programme would be lightly to start this was going to be easy all the science was on the web and was easily accessible ,the advantages and disadvantages of the plant-based vegan lifestyle were going to get a fair hearing with Philip, after all, I had seen this guy on the Late Late show warning the public about what was in our sausages anybody who has the balls to say sausages are bad for you on the Late Late gets my respect. It would be great if for a change we had somebody on RTE with an open mind about a plant-based vegan diet rather than been biased against vegans which seems to be the norm.
 
So the programme was definitely going to have an interview with the twins from the Happy Pear David and Stephen Flynn these lads would be able to give a good insight into how plant-based food affect your health, they run a huge business in Ireland much of it to do with healthy eating, having released a number of cookbooks with lots of tasty vegan recipes and they run an online heart healthy course .Their cookbook contains vegetarian and mostly vegan recipes. It was a number one best-seller for two years in a row, it had outsold  Donal Skehan, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson who all were selling cookery books at the same time, This was something the lads are very proud of and they have a huge youtube following
 
I could see Philip signing up for the online healthy heart course and challenging them to prove the claims on the website “Twin chefs, David and Stephen Flynn have developed a delicious, oil-free plant-based eating program. For those who transition to this lifestyle, it will be the end of the heart disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and a host of other common chronic killing diseases. It is a revolution for all.”    This is the claim that the twins from the happy pear make and Philip Boucher-Hayes would have to ask the lads to back up what most people would consider an outlandish claim.
These were big health claims being made for the plant-based vegan lifestyle and I expected Philip to use all of his skills to investigate these claims and the public would at the end of this programme know if these claims were based in fact or fiction.
Perhaps he might ask the whole film crew to go vegan for the month who knows what was going to happen but I was sure that the Happy Pear twins, perhaps Irelands most famous plant-based foodies were going to be on the show.
Then I could picture Philip getting his bloods taken, getting weighed, BMI calculated and getting his blood pressure taken by some well-known doctor, Dr Cira Kelly came to mind, but then I said no she works for Newstalk so RTE won’t employ her. So I was not sure who the doctor would be, but one thing was certain there would be some very qualified doctor on the show perhaps one who specialised in preventing heart disease or perhaps one specialising in obesity or cancer. I guessed it would be most lightly one that dealt with heart disease as the link between heart disease and diet is very strong.
I then could see a Consultant Dietitian been asked to provide expert advice on what foods one should eat on a vegan diet perhaps RTE would employ a dietitian who specialised in plant-based nutrition this would give the programme the best chance to work, Dr Conor Kerley came to mind,a quick search on the net would reveal Conor’s credentials, Conor has worked in several hospitals, universities and other institutions in Ireland and most recently in the United States. Conor served as chairperson of the Scientific and Research Steering Group of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute (INDI) Dr Kerley developed an interest in nutrition and lifestyle after being diagnosed with MS at the age of 15, Perhaps they might ask Conor about his own experience of a plant-based diet were once he went plant-based his symptoms of MS completely went away never to return.His story alone would take up the whole programme. He was in my mind the most qualified person to oversee the dietary requirements of the show.
I could see the Consultant Dietitian been asked about the pitfalls of a vegan diet and been asked was it a fad diet and been asked about protein and I could guess what Conor’s answers would be
Yes you do need B12 if you are on a vegan diet and you may need vitamin D in the winter if you don’t get enough sunshine.
The question is it hard to get your protein on a vegan diet would be asked, and the answer would be it would be hard not to get enough protein on a vegan diet if you consume enough calories.
 
Then it would be back to the twins from the happy pear who would give some cooking demonstrations which are their area of expertise.
 
I then pictured Philip and perhaps even the whole film crew all getting their weight, blood pressure readings and blood samples were taken every week under the care of a doctor to see what changes happen.
I then pictured RTE getting an interview with perhaps Dean Ornish or Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn both of which have published peer-reviewed study’s showing that heart disease can be reversed with a plant-based diet. Or perhaps RTE might interview Colin T Campbell author of the China study who was able to link the consumption of animal products with cancer. And perhaps linking all of them to Ex-president of the US Bill Clinton who switched to a mostly vegan diet for health reasons on the basis of these three plant-based experts have published in peer-reviewed studies.
 
Then I pictured RTE talking to the Irish cancer society who would give a short segment on the benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables every day and what the world health organisation had to say about the dangers of eating processed meat and how even grass-fed Irish meat is suspected of causing some cancers, and it is prudent to limit the consumption of even grass-fed meat despite it containing many good nutrients.
 
I then pictured RTE looking at the farming industry in Ireland and getting the Vegan and the farmer’s point of view on the vegan attitude to farming I could visualise a segment with a spokesperson from WWW.govegan.ie perhaps Sandra Higgins and her controversial poster campaign which has extended to many different country’s her controversial animal rights advertising campaign that claims drinking milk is inhumane has been given the thumbs up by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the UK would surely be newsworthy.I could see some Irish farmers been asked about the posters around Ireland saying eggs and milk are inhumane.
 
The controversial Netflix documentary What The Health, that has been credited with changing many people to a plant-based vegan lifestyle including Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton would most lightly get a mention, it was a big hit in 2017 and continues to be very popular it surely would be included in the programme.
Perhaps a spokesperson from the Vegetarian Society of Ireland might make an appearance I think Maureen O’Sullivan might have something to contribute to the programme.
 
I then thought perhaps if Philip used his investigative skills he would uncover the late great Irish doctor Denis Burkitt and the origins of the dietary fibre hypothesis.
Perhaps Philip might discover retired Dublin Dr John Kelly who wrote a book( stop feeding your cancer) on how all of his patients who adopted a plant-based vegan diet has remarkable results in slowing down or stopping the growth of cancer except for two patients who had pancreatic cancer.
 
I could see RTE getting Dr Michael Greger, M.D. is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker who runs the first science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition to contribute to the programme Michael would surely make himself self-available for an interview for a well-respected TV station like RTE and a well-respected journalist like Philip Boucher-Hayes and Philip would be able to ask the hard questions about a vegan diet from a expert.
 
Perhaps Philip would discover Dr Kim Williams, past president of the American College of Cardiology when he would be researching the benefits of a plant-based vegan diet perhaps Dr Kim Williamswould be on the show.
 
Perhaps Philip would uncover a new trend in the USA, where Kaiser Permanente advised its physicians and health care providers to recommend plant-based diets to their patients, noting that plant-based diets may be of particular benefit for those with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and conditions related to cardiovascular disease. You might ask who is Kaiser Permanente, well it had 11.7 million health plan members, 208,975 employees, 21,275 physicians, 54,072 nurses, 39 medical centres, and 720 medical facilities. and a net income of $64.6 billion in operating revenues. The largest managed care agency in the United States, serving 10.1 million members. Kaiser has a vested interest in keeping their clients healthy.
 
Would the Blue Zones get a mention, these are regions of the world where people live much longer than average and they eat a 95% plant-based diet.
 
 
Would the topic of overfishing and pollution of the world’s oceans be covered and the heavy metals that are found in fish. Would fish farming be covered?
 
 
Would Rosanna Davison somehow make a guest appearance as she is plant based for the last number of years?
 

 Would they list off some famous vegans on the show?

Alec Baldwin , Miley Cyrus, Morrissey, Sir Paul McCartney, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and   Arnold Schwarzenegger all came to mind

I was certain that we would see some information on the rise vegan athletes, Grand Slam tennis ace Serena Williams. Four-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, boxer David Haye and many NFL players who are going 100% or almost 100% plant-based, Tom Brady the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player for the last 3 seasons credits his success to his plant-based diet.In 2018, Brady threw for 505 yards at 40 years old, setting a record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl, This is not new information that has just come out in the last few years, Carol Lewis Lewis voted World Athlete of the Century credits his outstanding 1991 results in part to the vegan diet he adopted in 1990,as do many long distance athletes from Africa. The Roman gladiators consumed a vegan or near vegan diet so lots of interesting material available to give vegan athletes a shout out.Perhaps vegan mixed martial artist, Nate Diaz who beat Connor McGregor might get a mention or even an interview.

There are so many positive and surprising things about the whole plant food vegan lifestyle that could green I did not envy the producers in deciding what was going to be shown on the night.

I even thought that Philip might join the long list of people who are eating mostly plant-based diet after all when he got the Weight loss, increased energy levels, improved mood, lower cholesterol and reduced blood pressure, and often cheaper food bills are just some of the benefits that people regularly get when the go plant-based.
 
 
The second part of the complaint is a detailed analysis of the factual errors and what I perceive as biased information that was broadcast.
Let me start with the most straightforward claim to dismiss.
 
 
The shows the main conclusion, which was treated as a very serious health problem was that Philip Boucher-Hayes lost 2% of his bone density and “a good 2Kg of muscle mass” which was calculated as 3% of his muscle mass, as a result of being on a plant-based vegan diet for 28 days. Philip also said his muscle disposition went lopsided because of the vegan diet on the Ray Darcy show of the same day. These are false and sensationalist claims that were used to promote the programme and wrongly undermined a plant-based vegan diet.
 
The data to support this conclusion came from a Tanita Segmental body analyzer. The report from the Tanita Segmental body analyzer actually listed a 1.9Kg difference in muscle mass while on the show it said: “you lost a good 2 kg of muscle ” so even the purported muscle loss of 2 Kg was, in fact, inaccurate and an exaggeration of the flawed data, which showed a 65 Kg muscle mass at the start of the experiment and then 63.1Kg muscle mass at the end of the experiment.
Philip stated that “through diet, in one month I have done to my self what otherwise it would take ten years of not been physically active to do” so basically he wants the public to believe that his muscle system aged ten years from eating a plant-based vegan diet in 28 days. This is an outrageous and erroneous claim which is based on flawed data.To make matters worse, on the Ray Darcy show Philip claimed his bone density loss was 3% not the 2% that was was in the written report on the show. And he claimed that his muscle disposition went lopsided in 28 days.
All of the reported data from segmental body analyser except for Philips weight and BMI is not accurate, and ironically the only accurate figures, his weight loss figure of 5Kg and changes in BMI were never quantified, and the usual figures were never discussed on the programme. I only know the data because the report from the Tanita segmental body analyzer was shown for 3 seconds on the TV screen and I was able to pause the programme and read the detailed reports.
Here are the main reasons that the data in the report is useless:
 
Keith Erickson from Tanita Corporation,  the manufacturer of the segmental body analyzer used on the programme has examined the data from the show and has said “it is likely that the measured values for bone mass and muscle mass are a result of higher water weight loss” In plain English, this means the claimed 2% bone mass and 3% muscle mass loss figures that Philip was worried about cannot be relied on as been accurate.
 
Philip claimed on the Ray Darcy show the his muscles went  lopsided in the distribution of muscle mass (a claim that was not made on the main programme)  When Keith Erickson from Tanita corporation was asked about this lopsided issue and was this result lightly to be as a result a difference in the electrical connections to one of the electrodes rather than a real loss of body mass on one side of the body. Would say some dirt on the soles of one foot or one hand been slightly moist compared to the other hand or even an uneven grip cause this anomaly?  He replied,
“its unlikely someone would experience a drastic change in body composition over 28 days and suddenly appear lopsided”.
So the manufacture of the segmental body analyzer says that it is unlikely that Philips body became lopsided in just 28 days.
 
Aveen Bannon the consultant dietitian for the programme ‘What Are You Eating’, has stated in an email  that “not all of the key input variables were adhered to”, and she also stated they were “aware of the protocols required for more reliable readings but you will appreciate meeting them all is seldom practical”.
 
The Tanita analyser only measures two things weight and electrical impedance. The electrical impedance of the body can easily change, the smallest thing can affect it, just telling a lie could alter the readings slightly after all this is how a lie detector works, it detects small changes in electrical impedance.
Some examples of key variables, all of which are required for the machine to get the best accuracy which is at best 2%. If just one or more of these variables is out, you won’t get the claimed accuracy of 2%.
Measuring three hours or more after waking up, with normal day-to-day activities carried on during this time (simply sitting or travelling by car will keep impedance high).
Use at the same time on each occasion,
Use at least three hours after a meal.
Readings are affected by the level of hydration. Your body water levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day and night. Your body tends to be dehydrated after a long night and there are differences in fluid distribution between day and night. Eating different foods or different amounts of food affect the readings.
The list goes on, when you pee, poo, drink alcohol, exercise, shower, amount of sleep you get, if you had vigours sex in the previous 12 hours all affect the accuracy of the readings.
One of the key variables that need’s to be got right for consistent readings is the time of measurement. Tanita recommends that readings are most consistent when taken between 6 and 8 pm before eating. This did not happen. According to the reports that flashed up for 3 seconds on the show, the first reading was taken in the morning and the second reading was taken in the afternoon 35 days apart not 28 days which was the length of the diet.Knowing this and other key variables were not met, and that the overall tolerance of the machine was at best 2%  under ideal conditions and that this type of bone and muscle loss in 28 days is not associated with a vegan diet, one can only conclude with a high degree of certainty that the reported bone and muscle loss did not happen.
A 2% difference in readings would be meaningless even if all the key variables were accurately controlled, as this is the tolerance of the machine. And a 3% difference in readings is meaningless as all the key variables were not met. All of this information is available on the Tanita website and or the user manual https://tanita.eu/help-guides/f-a-q
This means the viewers were completely misled into thinking that this plant-based diet did serious damage to Philip Boucher-Hayes’s health.
To accept the estimated bone and muscle density from a segmental body analyzer that does not measure directly bone and muscle density especially when such results were outside the expected results and not question the accuracy of the results was negligent.  To place so much importance on a 2% and 3% difference in readings when the accuracy of the machine is 2% in ideal conditions was utterly irresponsible. It was incorrect to attach great significance to such a change when it is clearly inside the margins of error of the equipment under the conditions it was used. If the programme wished to use changes in bone density and muscle mass they should have used the correct machines to measure these parameters which are only available in a hospital setting under the direction of a doctor.  This was not just a mistake that was made, the results fitted a prejudice that a vegan diet was unhealthy, so the “poor” results were accepted without question, celebrated, exaggerated, and broadcast with glee without proper scrutiny and editorial control on a number of different RTE programs all of which need to publish a retraction .
 
I can’t think of any other TV show where somebody who is overweight and is on the record as saying “I have chronically high cholesterol”, went on a 28 day diet for the show, Philips weight was measured, his BMI was calculated, and “a raft of blood tests were done”, yet no cholesterol results were discussed or shown on the programme. It is normal when somebody eliminates dietary cholesterol from their diet (which is only found in animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and eggs) to experience an improvement in their cholesterol levels, why was this topic avoided on the programme? It is an obvious question to be asked did his cholesterol change while he was on the diet?
Philips weight went from 86.6Kg to 81.6Kg a 5Kg drop in 28 days, these figures were not discussed on the programme. If the loss of weight and improvement in BMI was discussed, it might have been seen as a positive thing for the vegan diet, instead of the phrase used to describe his weight loss was “not necessarily a bad thing” so even his weight loss might have been a bad thing. The decision not to quantify, discuss and give credit to a plant-based diet for any improvements in BMI and cholesterol levels can only be seen as an effort to distort the results and ignore or hide the well-known positive outcomes of being on a plant-based vegan diet. If the medical records show decreases in cholesterol (total, HDL, and LDL), weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen, as one would expect on a plant-based diet, then the programme-makers have deliberately withheld key data.
 
 
Philips claims about ” scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition” are very misleading. Here is a quote “What we did when I did the Vegan diet, as we did in all the other fad diets that I had done previously, was that I went for a raft of check-ups. They took so much blood out of me that I was like a pin cushion. I had various scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition and so on so that we would have a really reliable ‘before and after’.
“We were able to monitor, in minute detail, what happened to me and a lot happened to me in a very short space of time.”
“I’m not some dietary or biological freak – I’m pretty much an everyman. So if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to anybody else who tries to take on this diet.”
Most people will know somebody who has had a bone scan done, it is a standard medical diagnostic procedure carried out in a hospital setting. When people talk about bone scans what they are talking about is an imaging technique of the bone, it is an enhanced form of x-ray technology, used to help diagnose problems with your bones. You cant get a bone scan done on the machine shown on the programme. According to the  Tanita website ” The Bone Mineral Mass feature indicates the estimated weight of bone mineral by statistical calculation based on close correlation with skeleton size and Fat Free Mass. This measurement is not intended as a substitute for more detailed assessments of bone density and/or osteoporosis”.
 
So according to the manufacturer, this machine cant scan your bones, it is not to be used  as a substitute for more detailed assessments of bone density ,it cant tell you anything except your weight and  BMI in minute detail and you dont have ” really reliable ‘before and after ” data because the protocols required for reliable 2% readings were not adhered to on the show . Philips “reliable scientific information” was not very reliable, scientific or accurate, and he did not get this information from a medical doctor.
So I believe the miss-classification of what Philip got done as a bone scan had the effect of giving the impression that a medical diagnosis was done and the negative findings of this bone scan report would wrongly stop people reducing or eliminating meat from their diet.
Reducing meat consumption for most people would have a positive effect on people’s health and also reduce their carbon footprint. This would mean that RTE has failed to deliver fair, objective and impartial, news and current affairs content as outlined in the Broadcasting Act 2009 is a breach of the 2009 act.
 
 
Philip had a segment discussing the concerns for animal welfare, the first three people to speak on the topic were non-vegan meat eaters journalists why was this topic not dealt with by vegan spokespersons, rather than people some of who may have an interest in maintaining the status quo and who are not experts on the vegan beliefs , this was an opportunity for the show to be more balanced. Why was what Sandra Higgins had to say on this topic not broadcast. This is another example of bias and imbalance that contributes to a breach of the 2009 Broadcasting act.
 
The programme seemed to be unbalanced all these words or phrases were used to describe vegans or the vegan experience in a negative light.
Fashionable, lonely, horrible, cheating, hardcore, virtues vegan, vegetarian craze, cranky, new converts, challenge, hate vegans, been around vegans make me feel bad, really restrictive, smacks of western indulgence, fashion on the rise, veganism has not been fun until now, doing my health serious damage, weak, fatigue, depressed, faddish, fatigued, its not easy. These phrases and the way they were used, in particular, the comment by Darina Allen about the beginning of the vegetarian craze when she used to shop in a health food shop where all “the staff were cranky, and she felt that they needed a good stake”.  Another anty vegan piece where it says “chefs hate vegans for asking them to give up the foods that are delicious.”   These comments and phrases are a breach of the guidelines that require that all persons and groups in society are represented and comments shall be appropriate and justifiable and shall not prejudice respect for human dignity, and material shall not stigmatise, support or condone discrimination or incite hatred against persons or groups in society.
 
Philip started off to cast veganism negatively from the start where he described a vegan diet as a fashionable and a fad diet. If he had done his research in an unbiased way and investigated that preconceived but common stereotype, he would have found out that all mainstream dietetic associations in Ireland, Uk and worldwide have the same view. None of them calls a whole food plant based diet a Fad diet. It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.
 
Next, we have a writer and journalist John Mckenna telling us that in his generation that meat protein was in the centre of the plate.  He has lived in a time where meat is produced on an industrial scale however if you go back just one generation things were much different. If you look at the archives of the Irish folklore collection collected in the 1930 tys you will see that meat was not eaten regularly in previous generations.
Here are some links to back this up
 
“Meat was not eaten so often as it is eaten now.”
“Very little meat was eaten and it was not until American bacon was introduced to the country that people ever knew the taste of flesh meat.”
“Meat was very scarce”
“There was very little meat eaten.”
 
“people would not get meat from one end of the year to the other”
 
“Meat was very seldom used”
 
“Meat was very seldom used”
 
 
 
Next we had Catherine Cleary food journalist from the Irish times telling us that until recently been a vegan was a lonely path with clips of two unkempt hairy hippie type guys from about 40 years ago and one lonely guy sitting on his own at the top of a mountain perhaps he was doing yoga and meditation , it portrayed the origins of Veganism in a negative manner.
Next, we had Philip asking members of the public what is a vegan and again vegans were portrayed as unappealing.
He then decides to go vegan for a month and the three reasons he gives for people going vegan are the influence of the internet, environmental concerns and the worry about animal welfare, no mention of expected health benefits, weight loss, etc.
 
Then we meet Consultant Dietitian Aveen  Bannon who when asked where can a vegan diet go wrong and she was concerned about getting enough protein on a vegan diet. Most dietitians or doctors who themselves are plant-based say that it would be hard to have any reasonable plant-based diet that would not meet the protein requirements of a person as long as they were eating enough calories.
 
 
 
Then we have a segment talking about the fact that vegans can eat a diet of Tayto crisps and Guinness which would be unhealthy. This may sound trivial but Tayto dont make any vegan crisps. This is another example of time been wasted with information that is incorrect.
 
In the next segment, we have Darina Allen well know chef talking about the beginning of the vegetarian craze when she used to shop in a health food shop where all the staff were cranky and she felt that they needed a good stake. Once again non-meat eaters were portrayed in a negative light.
 
RTE are obliged not to broadcast material that encourages people to imitate acts which are damaging to the health and safety of themselves or others or grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment.
This principle has been contravened several times If a person young or old was to try making a flint cutting implement as demonstrated on the show by banging two pieces of rock off each and breaking off a sharp bit, they risk getting pieces of flying stone into their eyes, which could result in serious injury. This was an interesting demonstration, but basics safety procedures were not followed as no safety glasses were used.
 Dismembering a deer, duck or any wild animal in a public place may not be breaking the law as long as the person doing it was qualified, Can RTE clarify was there a qualified person present when this butchering was taking place. However dismembering a deer, duck or any wild animal in a public place is a danger to the environment and to other members of the public who may come in contact with the blood and guts that inevitably cant be cleaned up fully. Also exposing a person’s bare hands as demonstrated to the internal organs of a dead wild animal could expose the person to bloodborne pathogens, viruses and lethal bacteria, an unskilled person is at even higher risk as they could get the contents of the colon on their body.So these two demonstrations were a breach of the broadcasting act as the material that encourages people to imitate acts which are damaging to the health and safety of themselves or others or grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment.
 
 
Philip said that beef is not intensively raised in Ireland, and it is true that compared to many countries we do much less intensive farming.But dont think that all the beef you eat has come from animals who have spent 2 happy years feeding on grass. A lot of beef comes from cows who cant produce enough milk who have been intensively raised and are killed at 4 or more years of age. And intensive beef farming is happening and promoted by Teagasc, See
”  Bulls from the dairy herd, in particular, have a tendency to be quite
active, especially if they become stressed. Robust facilities
are required, from housing and handling pens to fencing
and water troughs. A period of intensive indoor feeding is
required over the final 3-4 months in order to ensure that
animals reach the required level of finish, which is generally a
minimum fat class of 2+. “.
What this advice says to me is that it is far more profitable to unnaturally feed animals in “robust facilities ” with processed feed for the last few months of their lives as it bulks them up in a way grass-fed animals cant achieve.
More wrong information that makes the case that this programme is biased against the vegan message and fails to reach the minimum standards and practices that are expected of broadcasters in their treatment of current affairs content.
 
 
When it became known that Philip Boucher-Hayes did not follow the instructions of the consultant dietitian and was in a 600 calorie daily deficit why the experiment not redone with the diet the Consultant Dietitian recommended? This is another poor editorial decision. The programme did not reach the minimum standards and practices that are expected of broadcasters in their treatment of current affairs content and is in breach of the Broadcasting Act 2009.
 
Philip joins the Vegan in Ireland Dublin walking tour, run by Sivan Pardo Renwick and her husband Scott. When Philip was challenged by a vegan member of the group with the fact that the World Health Organisation said processed meat is carcinogenic, Philip the experienced broadcaster that he is said with the air of authority and confidence “hold on a second — “increases your risk of exposure is not automatically carcinogenic “. Philips rebuttal of the point did not make any sense, but because he said it in such a confident manner, a viewer would come away with the view that the World Health Organisation did not say processed meat is carcinogenic. Can RTE correct the record, here is what the World Health Organisation has said about processed meat.
 
Here is the correct information.
Processed meat was classified as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean?
This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer. The evaluation is usually based on epidemiological studies showing the development of cancer in exposed humans.
In the case of processed meat, this classification is based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.
 
Philips utterly inaccurate reply to this question was aired and is another example of erroneous information being broadcast and poor editorial control. This is another example of a breach of the guidelines from Broadcasting Authority of Ireland which RTE are obliged to follow. Audiences are entitled to and do, trust that the news and current affairs content they access from the broadcast media is accurate. Perhaps Philip does not want to face the reality that processed meat is bad for him. For a person who went on The Late Late show and gave a demonstration to the audience on what sausages were made of and how bad they were for you, he continues to cook them for his family and flatly contradicts a person who said that processed meat is carcinogenic.
 
Roger Yates was the only well known vegan person who got on the show.He spoke about ethical issues of eating meat by demonstrating the Vegan Information Project’s virtual reality headset to get an immersive experience of the lives of intensively reared pigs.
 
Philip talks with anthropologist and archaeologist who explains how humans first began to hunt for meat instead of scavenging.RTE really did there research when they got Dr Bill Schindler on board, Bill who is known for breaching suburban etiquette by butchering a dead deer and geese in his own yard and boasts the shirt and loincloth he wore for his graduation speech cost four deer their lives. He is pretty much the polar opposite of a vegan.
Philip distorted what was said when  Bill says there is evidence that we have been eating meat for millions of years. Philips comment to that was “Wow ok so we have always been at this” Sure we have always been eating meat but never in this volume. Most anthropologists agree that man tended to eat mostly vegetable matter.
As stated earlier If you look at the archives of the Irish folklore collection collected in the 1930 tys you will see that meat was not eaten regularly in previous generations. Here are some more links to back this up.
 
“Meat was not eaten often,”
 
“This was a rare treat as seldom or ever they had meat”
 
“Meat was very seldom used”
 
“Meat was rarely eaten”
 
“It was on very rare occasions that meat was eaten”
 
“Meat was almost unknown there except in the house of one farmer named Power who used to cook meat once in a while for himself only.”
 
“Meat was not eaten often.”
 
 
I would like RTE to get and examine the full records including all emails from the people that were connected to the programme so as these records can be checked to see if there has been a breach of the  2009 Broadcasting act and retain these records in case these records are needed for an appeal and make them available to the BCI.
 
To summarise what I see as the key problems with the programme
  • The failure to speak about the impressive weight loss of  5Kg in a month
  • The failure to speak about the reduction in BMI
  • The failure to have a medical doctor review and speak about the raft of tests that Philip got done so much so that he said he felt like a pin cushion,
  •  To mislead and confuse  the public by wrongly classify a measurement on a fancy  body-fat scales as a bone scan, A bone scan is enhanced form of x-ray technology, ” he said  I had various scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition and so on so that we would have a really reliable ‘before and after”
  •   Despite referencing the Vegan poster campaigns around the country and doing a prolonged interview with Sandra Higgins an editorial decision was made to exclude her from the program
  •  Philip wrongly claimed a loss of 3% bone density on the Ray Darcy show on the 8 th of March, the discredited data actually showed a 2% loss and wrongly claimed  “I’m not some dietary or biological freak – I’m pretty much an everyman. So if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to anybody else who tries to take on this diet. Wrong it’s not happening to everybody, in fact, your the first person that I have heard with this complaint.
  •  Philip claimed on the Ray Darcy show that his muscles went  lopsided in the distribution of muscle mass, a claim that does not stand up to scrutiny  and has been described as “un-lightly ” by the manufacturer of the body fat scales, 
  • People who worked in health shops were described as crankey because they were vegetarian and needed a good steak
  •  Vegans repeatedly were cast in a poor light, described a vegan diet as a fashionable and a fad diet, it portrayed the origins of Veganism in a negative manner and that until recently been a vegan was a lonely path with clips of two unkempt hairy hippie type guys from about 40 years ago and one lonely guy sitting on his own at the top of a mountain.
  • Aveen Bannon the consultant dietitian for the programme ‘What Are You Eating’, has stated in an email  that “not all of the key input variables were adhered to”, and she also stated they were “aware of the protocols required for more reliable readings but you will appreciate meeting them all is seldom practical”.Why then were figures of 2% loss in bone density considered a very serious health issue when the machine can have a difference of 2% between readings even under ideal conditions with all key variables been met which in this case they were not met.
  • The report from the Tanita Segmental body analyzer actually listed a 1.9Kg difference in muscle mass while on the show it said: “you lost a good 2 kg of muscle ” so even the purported muscle loss of 2 Kg was, in fact, inaccurate and an exaggeration of the flawed data
  • The programme had no medical doctors or specialists on the show about the vegan diet despite all other shows that dealt with medical issues having medical experts on the show somehow the opinion of medical experts were not required on this show
  •  Philip wrongly claimed that the World Health organisation never said processed meat is carcinogenic,
  •  No mention of the of the improvement in his cholesterol which improved over the month,
  •  Darina Allen well know chef talking about the beginning of the vegetarian craze again portraying non-meat eaters in a negative manner
  •  Philip gave the three reasons he gives for people going vegan are 1 The influence of the internet, 2 Environmental concerns and 3 The worry about animal welfare, no mention of expected health benefits, weight loss, etc.; 
  •  Philip said that beef is not intensively raised in Ireland which is wrong,  intensive beef farming is happening and promoted by Teagasc  
A failure to cover some of the topics below properly, and to ignore all of these topics is a sign of fundamental problems with the programme
  • The programme chose to exclude any mention of the positive things that are happing in the plant-based vegan movement like  Netflix documentary What The Health, that has been credited with changing many people to a plant-based vegan lifestyle including Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. 
  •  No information on the rise vegan athletes, Grand Slam tennis ace Serena Williams. Four-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, boxer David Haye and many NFL players who are going 100% or almost 100% plant-based, Tom Brady the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player for the last 3 seasons credits his success to his plant-based diet. 
  • Failure to interview Irelands most famous plant-based business twins from the Happy Pear,
  • Failure to discuss or mention the number of top business people who have switched to a plant-based diet. 
  • While meat was mentioned as a problem for the environment the failure to discuss the actual figures and how bad they were was left out of the programme.
  • Failure to properly discuss fatty foods and meat products links to heart disease on the programme, however, this topic was covered (poorly)in a later episode 
  • Failure to interview plant-based experts on diet and chronic diseases 
  • Failure to interview experts from the Irish cancer society who advise that red meat may be connected to colon cancer 
  • Failure to give more time on the show to vegan experts and activists to make the show more balanced
  • Failure to mention the Blue Zones
  • The miss information on this show has upset a lot of people who are worried about their friends and family who have adopted a plant-based vegan diet
  •  
When you examine all of the above errors and look at all the potential topics that were ignored all of these potential topics have one thing in common they would have portrayed a plant-based diet in a positive manner. This topic is so complex that RTE may well have to employ outside experts to get to the full facts of this case.
 
When you combine the above points I feel that the programme does not meet the following guidelines
   Objectivity & Impartiality: The principles of objectivity and impartiality are concerned with ensuring that news and current affairs content is compiled, produced and presented in a manner which is and can be seen as independent, unbiased, and without prejudgement.
 
Accuracy & Responsiveness: Audiences are entitled to, and do, trust that the news and current affairs content they access from the broadcast media is accurate. Accurate information enables citizens to participate more fully in a democratic society. Accuracy is, therefore, a fundamental principle associated with the broadcast of news and current affairs content and should always take priority over the speed with which content can be delivered. It is also acknowledged that despite best efforts, inaccurate information can sometimes be conveyed, whether explicitly or implicitly. The principle of responsiveness is designed to ensure that broadcasters adopt fair, timely and appropriate remedies in handling the broadcast of inaccurate information.
 
Transparency & Accountability: the principles of transparency and accountability are concerned with ensuring that practices and procedures adopted by broadcasters in sourcing, compiling, producing and presenting news and current affairs are visible, open to scrutiny, robust and accessible
 
 
 
 that all news broadcast by a broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster‘s own views, (b) that the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner

Proof that Philip Boucher-Hayes got it wrong

This a link to tweet.

http://www.dietisthekey.com/proof-that-philip-boucher-hayes-got-it-wrong/ #DebunkingWhatareyoueating  #Liveline #Philipmanup  #whatareyoueating. Proof that Philip Boucher-Hayes got it wrong about the vegan diet. Wrong information = Lives lost.

The main conclusion of the programme   What Are You Eating  8/3/18 Link   was that Philip Boucher-Hayes who adopted a plant-based diet for a month lost 2% of his bone mass and 3% of his muscle mass hinged on a report from a Tanita Segmental body analyzer. Keith Erickson from Tanita Corporation  has reviewed the data from the show and said: “Reviewing this data, it is likely that the measured values for bone mass and muscle mass are a result of higher water weight .”

This means that the 2% bone loss and 3% muscle loss never happened and this finding completely undermines the core conclusions of the programme. In truth, a detailed examination of the contents of the programme reveals that the programme had so many basic flaws that even without this new information it should never have been broadcast. No medical doctor’s opinion was shown on the programme. Basic checks were not done. Blood pressure, cholesterol, weight was measured, but weight loss figures were not spoken about. Unequal time was given to pro and anti-vegan experts, no plant-based medical people interviewed.This sort of wrong information on a vegan diet will cause both people and animals unnecessary suffering and death.This was not just any vegan diet it was a vegan diet designed and supervised by a Consultant Dietitian and at the end of 28 days, Philip makes conclusions that simply dont stand up to basic scrutiny.

Below is a copy of the email and the reply and a link to a more detail post on an analysis of the programme.

http://www.dietisthekey.com/de-bunking-rte-what-are-you-eating/

Hi

Hi I am hoping you can give me your opinion on what appears to be an unusual reading from an MC-780U Multi Frequency Segmental Body Composition Analyzer.

A client male age 46 went on a 28-day vegan diet under the guidance of a registered dietitian, however, he failed to fully follow the guidance he was given and did not take his supplements and over the 28 day period he left himself with a 600 calorie per day deficit, this resulted in a weight loss from 86.6 Kg to 81.6Kg, a % fat loss of 21% to 18.6% a fat loss of 3Kg from 18.2 Kg to 15.2Kg over the 28 days, however, what  that the client was worried about was a reported 2% loss in bone density and a 1.9Kg loss in muscle mass that showed up in the report.
This loss of estimated bone density and muscle mass seems high and was a cause of concern to the client, from your experience of Multi Frequency Segmental Body Composition Analyzers is it lightly that the reported bone and muscle mass loss is probably due to the manufacturer’s  instructions not been fully complied with rather than a real loss in such a short period.
Regards
Joe

Hello Joe,

Reviewing this data, it is likely that the measured values for bone mass and muscle mass are a result of higher water weight loss.  Some background, our products do not measure fat, water, muscle, etc. directly.  The only two values measured directly are weight and impedance; all other measurements are calculated using equations based on these and other values such as height, gender, activity level etc.  Impedance is measured by sending a low, safe electrical signal through the body, and can be described as a measurement of the strength and speed of that signal.  Because muscle tissue has a high water and electrolyte content (compared to fat), the electrical signal passes through with ease.  However, when the signal encounters fat mass, it must work harder to pass through because fat contains only a small percentage of water.  When the scale detects less water the equations will automatically calculate lower muscle and bone mass values (bone mass in linked to muscle mass).  As you may know, it is not uncommon for people to lose more water weight during the initial stages of weight loss as the body adjusts to the reduced caloric intake.  The MC-780U provides a detailed breakdown on body water, with total water as well as intracellular and extracellular values.  You should review this data, with an eye towards the differences in percent of total weight for each of these values over time to monitor his water loss in relationship to his total weight.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Regards,

Keith Erickson

Tanita Corporation

2625 South Clearbrook Drive

Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005

Office:847 434 3989

Web: www.tanita.com

Philip From reading

Debunking What Are You Eating 8th March 2017 a closer look



#DebunkingWhatareyoueating

When you look at the pre-publicity and the contents and conclusions of the programme What are you eating aired on Thursday the 8th of March I can only conclude that RTE has let the public down. It matters that our leading broadcaster and public funded TV station should air such an ill-informed program particularly for an award-winning journalist who is the head of RTÉ’s Radio Investigative unit to reach the conclusions that he did, is in my view is very disappointing.Irelands hospitals are bursting at the seams with patients with conditions that can be helped or avoided by changing their diet to a whole plant-based vegan diet.  A plant-based diet is associated with a longer and healthier life, it can help prevent or reverse and slow down the progression of many chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, it also lowers your overall risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” …….Hippocrates

That a statement made over 2500 years ago is still true today. By ‘food’, Hippocrates wasn’t talking about what most Irish people eat daily, fast food, fried foods, pizza, sausages, rashers, hams, sweets and treats.
For food to be your medicine, it needs to be real food in it’s whole form with minimal processing.

How a properly thought out vegan diet under the guidance of a Consultant Dietitian could conclude that a person could lose 3% of his muscle mass and 2% of his bone density and his body to become lopsided in the space of 28 days is beyond comprehension.

Misinformation from the media leads to disastrous outcomes. It is irresponsible for RTE to conclude that a properly thought out vegan diet caused serious health issues and for Philip Boucher Hayes to say “if it happens to me it’s happening to anybody else who tries to take on this diet”.

Here is a transcript of  what Philip  Boucher  Hayes said for the pre-publicity  taken from RTE’s website    https://www.Rte.Ie/lifestyle/food/2018/0308/945877-is-veganism-as-healthy-as-people-think-it-is/

What we did when I did the vegan diet as I did with other fad diets that I have done previously was I went for a raft of checkups they took so much blood out of me I was like a pin cushion I had various scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition and so on so as we would have a really reliable before and after much more reliable  scientific information than most people embracing these kind of lifestyles or diets would have  and  we were able to monitor in minute detail what happened to me and a lot happened to me in a very short space of time I am not some dietary or biological  freak I am pretty much a every man, so if it happens to me it’s happening to anybody else who try’s to take on this diet.

And some quotes from the pre-publicity from the  Ray Darcy show.

I did it and embraced it as wholehearted as enthusiastically as I could

It is damned hard to get your protein on a vegan diet, (not true) where he explained that he lost 3% of his bone density, 2kg of muscle mass and his body went lopsided.

However, all of these negative results appear to have originated from one source a  Tanita body composition analyzer, which the manufacturer who has examined the data has said the worrying results are likely to due to water loss rather than a real loss of bone density or muscle loss.

I find it strange that no doctor, gave a report on basic blood results, cholesterol readings, or blood pressure results, things which have been proven to improve on a properly thought out vegetarian diet when you reduce your dietary cholesterol which only comes from animal products.

It does not make sense that a vegan diet that works for so many top athletes, for example, the Grand Slam tennis ace Serena Williams. Four-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, boxer David Haye and many NFL players who are going 100% or almost 100% plant-based, Tom Brady the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player for the last 3 seasons credits his success to his plant-based diet.In 2018, Brady threw for 505 yards at 40 years old, setting a record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl, This is not new information that has just come out in the last few years, Carol Lewis Lewis voted  World Athlete of the Century credits his outstanding 1991 results in part to the vegan diet he adopted in 1990,many long distance athletes from Africa do very well on a vegan or near vegan diet. The Roman gladiators consumed a vegan or near vegan diet without the help from a Dietitian, so for Philip Boucher- Hayes to have such a bad experience seem out of step with the bulk of published data on the effects of a properly thought out vegan diet on the human body.

The conclusions of this programme were so outrageous that I decided to  investigate the main conclusions, first off I sent the data that was presented on the show to be reviewed  by Tanita Corporation who manufacture the  Segmental Body Composition Analyzer and then I reviewed some of the pre-publicity that was aired by RTE to promote the programme and spoke to some people that were involved with the programme, the result of this investigation prompted me to ask some questions  and make some comments. 

1 When the data shown on the programme was reviewed by an expert from Tanita Corporation, who manufacture the Segmental Body Composition Analyzer, they concluded that the reported loss of a good 2Kg of muscle  mass and a 2 % loss of bone from the diet in one month is likely to be incorrect, below is a statement from them that explains how this might happen.

Reviewing this data, it is likely that the measured values for bone mass and muscle mass are a result of higher water weight loss.  Some background, our products do not measure fat, water, muscle, etc. directly.  The only two values measured directly are weight and impedance; all other measurements are calculated using equations based on these and other values such as height, gender, activity level etc.  Impedance is measured by sending a low, safe electrical signal through the body, and can be described as a measurement of the strength and speed of that signal.  Because muscle tissue has a high water and electrolyte content (compared to fat), the electrical signal passes through with ease.  However, when the signal encounters fat mass, it must work harder to pass through because fat contains only a small percentage of water.  When the scale detects less water the equations will automatically calculate lower muscle and bone mass values (bone mass in linked to muscle mass).  As you may know, it is not uncommon for people to lose more water weight during the initial stages of weight loss as the body adjusts to the reduced caloric intake.  The MC-780U provides a detailed breakdown on body water, with total water as well as intracellular and extracellular values.  You should review this data, with an eye towards the differences in percent of total weight for each of these values over time to monitor his water loss in relationship to his total weight.

Keith Erickson

Tanita Corporation

It is clear when you look at the manual for the body composition analyzer that unless it is used correctly it will give false readings, below are the instructions from the manual.

– Factors giving errors in measurement

In the BIA method, impedance is measured and the body composition is calculated based on the value. It is known that impedance changes by the amount of the total body water that occupies about 60% of weight and the change in its distribution and temperature change. Therefore, for the purpose of research or for daily repeating of measurements, the measurement conditions must be kept constant. Measurement under the changing conditions of temperature and total body water distribution or blood flow volume of extremities due to exercising, taking a bath, etc., affects the measurement result since the electric resistance in the body also changes. Therefore, it is recommended to measure under the following conditions for stable measurement.

1) 3 hours have passed after getting up and normal lifestyle activities are carried out during this period. (The impedance transits staying at a high level if you remain sitting after getting up or drive a car, etc.)

 2) 3 hours or more have passed after eating. (For 2 – 3 hours after eating, the impedance has a tendency to decrease.)

3) 12 hours or more have passed after vigorous exercise for measurement. (The tendency toward changes in impedance is not stable depending on the type and rigorousness of the exercise.)

4) If possible urinate before taking a measurement.

5) For repeated measurements, measure at the same hour as much as possible. (At the same time of measurement of weight, the measurements can be made more stable by measuring at the same time of the day)

Very stable measured values can be obtained by measuring under the above conditions. And in the development of this equipment, the following 6 items were set as conditions for the regression equation.

1) Prohibition of alcohol intake for 12 hours before measurement

2) Prohibition of excessive exercise for 12 hours before measurement.

3) Prohibition of excessive eating and drinking the day before measurement

4) Prohibition of eating and drinking for 3 hours before measurement

5) Urination just before measurement

From reading the information in the suppliers manual and reading the reply from the manufacturer there is no doubt in my mind the results and conclusions on bone and muscle loss are incorrect.

2 I understand that full blood tests were done what was the results of these tests and why were they not published.

3 Were any medical doctors ( and if not why not? )involved if so what were their findings? 

4 There was a lot of concern expressed about protein on the program and when the food intake was reviewed it was short about 600 calories each day and short of protein, can you publish the full records of the food consumed so an independent review can be done.

5 On the Ray Darcy show prior to the show being aired Philip said he lost 3% of his bones density because of the diet while on the actual show it was said it was 2% can the full report that was briefly shown on TV be made available.

6 Philip seemed very concerned about this loss of bone density has he contacted a bone specialist to check if he has anything to worry about.

7 Is it true that Philips blood pressure improved while he was on the vegan diet if so why was this fact not reported on the show.

8 Philips BMI went from 27.03  to 25.47 on the vegan diet, he almost made it from overweight to normal weight,no weight loss figures were mentioned on the show, the words used to brush over his weight loss were “the weight loss probably was not necessarily a bad thing you needed to lose a little bit”   Philips weight went from 86.6Kg to 81.6Kg a 5Kg drop in 28 days these figures were not mentioned and if they were it would have been seen as a positive thing for the vegan diet instead of the phrase used to describe his weight loss was “not necessarily a bad thing” so even his weight loss might have been a bad thing. Another week on the vegan diet and he would have been in the normal range.His weight and other data were only found out by stopping the recording on the RTE website and reading the reports that were on Aveen desk.

9 When Philip was challenged about the fact that the World Health Organisation said processed meat causes cancer Philip the experienced broadcaster that he is said with the air of authority and confidence “hold on a second     — “increases your risk of exposure is not automatically carcinogenic “.  Philips rebuttal of the point did not make much sense, but because he said in such a confident manner a viewer could come away with the view that the World Health Organisation did not say processed meat causes cancer.  Can Philip investigate what the World Health Organisation has said about processed meat and correct the record?

To help with your investigation here is the link.

 http://www.who.int/ features/qa/cancer-red-meat/ en/

Here is the information.

Processed meat was classified as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean?

This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer. The evaluation is usually based on epidemiological studies showing the development of cancer in exposed humans.

In the case of processed meat, this classification is based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.

Speaking of processed meat Philip said that the hardest time to stick to the diet was when he was cooking sausages for his kids he had to leave the kitchen because of his cravings for this food. The cravings for certain types of food are linked to their ingredients, so I would ask Philip not to discard the advice of the World Health Organization who say processed meat causes cancer, investigate the evidence and decide if sausages are a suitable food for you to feed to your kids. 

10 Somehow Philip was under fed 600 calories per day this alone should have invalidated the whole experiment, how did this happen?

11  Philip is recently quoted as saying  I have chronically high cholesterol, with people dropping dead of heart attacks on both sides of the family, to avoid a heart attack what diet does he think would be best for people with his genetic condition, or does he think his genetic makeup has already decided his fate and a balanced diet with everything in moderation is his best chance of avoiding a heart attack? Philip, it would have been great if you shared the work of Dr Dean Ornish or Dr. Esselstyn  who proved in peered review studies that heart disease can be reversed by a plant-based diet.Bill Clinton says after reading what these two doctors have to say he switched to a whole food plant based diet.I know time is limited on the programme but perhaps the programme would have been more balanced if the segment with Darina Allen slagging off vegans as been cranky and needing a good steak to correct their mood disorder was replaced with some information from  Dr Dean Ornish or Dr. Esselstyn .

 

12 What exactly and in what amount were the supplements that Philip was advised to take.

13 An expert was shown on the show saying we have been eating meat for millions of years and perhaps we have been eating meat for this length of time what the expert did not say was how much meat was eaten as we evolved ,so please dont justify our current massive over-consumption of farmed animal products on the basis that we ate some wild animals in the past.

14 The programme seemed to be unbalanced all these words or phrases were used to describe vegans or the vegan experience in a negative light.

Fashionable, lonely, horrible, cheating, hardcore, virtues vegan, vegetarian craze, cranky, new converts, challenge, hate vegans, been around vegans make me feel bad, really restrictive, smacks of western indulgence, fashion on the rise, veganism has not been fun until now, doing my health serious damage, weak, fatigue, depressed, faddish, fatigued,its not easy.

 

15 Philip says that a vegan diet is a fad diet is he aware of all mainstream Irish, UK and American   Nutrition and Dietetics experts agree that a vegan or vegetarian is suitable for all stages of life?

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.

16The programme was biased with unequal airtime given to the pro-meat experts.Can RTE analyse the programme and did both sides get equal time to make their case?

Why was Dorina Allen given airtime to talk about the vegetarian craze and how the people who worked in the health food shops years ago were all crankey and needed to eat a good steak, presumably to cure them of their vegetarian induced mental problems.Could this time have been better utilised by showing some of the 2 hours spent with Sandra Higgins from govegan.ie, her contribution never made it to the show.Roger Yates was the only well known vegan person who was given a proper slot on the show.

After reading the questions above, can RTE look at the programme and also looks the pre and post interviews broadcast on RTE about the show and determine if the Show was in any way below the standards the RTE aspire to. For an award-winning journalist who is head of RTÉ’s Radio Investigative Unit to reach the conclusions that he did in my view is very disappointing.

If you really wanted to Investigate the effects of a vegan diet on your body you would get a doctor involved and get a full set of blood results done pre and post, in particular, you could release the results of your cholesterol tests, tell them if your blood pressure changed over the 28 days, Instead you choose to base your conclusions on a weighing scales that also measures how well the body conducts electricity between the feet and the hands this piece of equipment can produce impressive reports but these reports are only accurate if you follow the manufactures instructions fully.

A few people mostly from the vegan community as were some health professions were upset with the conclusions of the programme, however, the bulk of big business that advertises on RTE will not be upset.I dont see the farmers who grow potatoes, kale, carrots, peas, corn, apples, tomatoes, etc  advertising much on RTE so they won’t have any influence

What are you eating update

Philip Boucher-Hayes returns with the programme dedicated to looking after the body. I would like to start off saying this show was in my view a shambles, misleading and biased against vegans, do not take Philips experience as typical of a person who switched from a standard typical processed food diet in Ireland to what should have been a well-planned vegan diet with the aid of a dietitian. Somehow they managed to invalidate the whole experiment by underfeeding by about 600 calories per day.This can easily happen if you dont realise that a plant-based diet is a  less calorie dense than a typical meat and dairy-based diet so you will have to eat a bigger volume of food than you normally would eat.  30 seconds into the program it suggests that a vegan diet is a fad diet this is not the case, One of the UK’s longest-standing organisations that represent dietetics and nutrition, the British Dietetic Association, has affirmed that a well-planned vegan diet can “support healthy living in people of all ages” The NHS (National Health Service, UK) gives guidelines on vegan diets, saying: “With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs”.  (See: link). It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.   (See: link). The  – the world’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals – has endorsed the vegan diet, saying that the diet is suitable for everyone. 50 seconds into the programme well know writer John McKenna says that for his generation meat protein was the centre of the meal.This may well be the case now but when you look up the history of Ireland you find that meat was rarely eaten by the majority of people look at this most interesting site which has Approximately 740,000 pages  of folklore and local tradition  which were compiled by pupils from 5,000 primary schools in the Irish Free State between 1937 and 1939. the schools collection from reading this you can see that the previous generations did not eat much meat. Meat was very seldom used. Bacon was also little used. They had a great feast on Easter Sunday. Some people did not get any eggs until Easter came and then they had a great feast that day. The meals in those days, were made up of potatoes, and sour milk, and salt, or sometimes stira-bout. Bread was rarely eaten in those days, because the people could not afford to buy it. Meat in those days was a luxury, and was rarely used. But fish was not so dear, and salt fish was often used. ButchButchers meat was unknown On Xmas Day and New Year's Day, the people used to have tea for breakfast and Supper and meat for dinner and on the twelth Day they used to get the fragments. Then they used to start lamenting because they wouldn't have tea or meat for the rest of the year and they used to say :- An dha lá deag is mó creach ceat Nodlag. Meat only was eaten by the rich people. These people killed their cattle and ate their flesh. They used to eat the flesh of some wild animals.  56 seconds into the programme we are shown two ageing hippies with tents on their back and a comment was made that being a vegan until recently was a pretty lonely path to take and shortly after 2 guys are asked about a vegan diet and it is described as horrible  at 2min 20 seconds Aveen Bannon warns us about the dangers of not getting enough protein on a vegan diet , this myth has been dealt with so many times, if it is such a problem then most people would know of at least one misguided vegan who ended up in hospital suffering for protein deficiency, the facts are that diseases caused by protein deficiency are not a problem however diseases of excess protein are a huge problem. Now regarding Philips worry about protein deficiency from eating a plant-based diet I will quote some information on this from Dr John McDougall Since plants are made up of structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins. In fact, so rich are plants that they can meet the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows. You would be correct to deduce that the protein needs of relatively small humans can easily be met by plants. Our greatest time of growth—thus, the time of our greatest need for protein—is during our first 2 years of life—we double in size. At this vigorous developmental stage, our ideal food is human milk, which is 5% protein.Compare this need to food choices that should be made as adults—when we are not growing. Rice is 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%.8 Thus protein deficiency is impossible when calorie needs are met by eating unprocessed starches and vegetables. The healthy active lives of hundreds of millions of people labouring in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on diets with less than half the amount of protein eaten by Americans and Europeans prove that the popular understanding of our protein needs is seriously flawed. https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2017nl/jul/simple.htm Consuming animal flesh does add more protein to your body, however, this excess is unnecessary because protein deficiency is unknown, and in today’s world, diseases of protein excess (like osteoporosis, kidney stones, kidney and liver damage) are universal among my patients. And yes, consuming mammalian milk does add more calcium to the diet, but this is also superfluous because calcium deficiency is unknown and milk is a leading cause of heart disease, obesity, and inflammatory arthritis. The above information leaves me in very little doubt that the only supplements a person needs on a whole food plant-based diet are B12 and vitamin D if you are not getting it from the sun. Philip was worried about the fact that the vegan milk he was drinking had 7 times less protein than cows milk, perhaps he should be more worried about the fact that cows milk is for calves and has 2.5 times more protein per calorie than mothers breast milk and is full of saturated fat If he is going to consume milk basied on its % protein then he should consume rats milk as it has 10 times the protein of mothers milk and it’s no coincidence that calves grow at 2 times the rate of babies and rats grow at 10 times or more the rate of babies. Each species has its own correct diet and while bovines share 80 percent of their genes with humans; cows are less similar to humans than rodents (humans and rodents belong to the clade of Supraprimates) so perhaps rats milk may be better in some ways that cows milk. Then we have Darina Allen talking about the beginning of the vegetarian health food craze and how the staff in these shops were always cranky and she figured they needed a good stake to stop them been cranky. Then we have the presenter talking about how chefs hate vegans as they wish them to cook without the things that make food delicious while in fact it is plants that make the meat taste delicious. Meat eaters need to flavour the meats especially chicken with plants ( garlic, pepper, curry, chillies ,mixed spices ,sugar, lemon, tomato sauce , gherkins, etc) to make the meat more palatable so as to trick the brain into thinking we are eating plants. McDonalds, Subway , or Burger kings fast food would not be as tasty if you did not add plants and salt to make the meat taste less like meat and more like plants.Cats or dogs dont need their food flavoured with plants to make it palatable. Then Philip tries to make the point that the ethical reasons for not eating meat does not happen in Ireland but concedes elsewhere that there is a problem with pigs and avoids the fact that all the animals all have to be killed. At the 10 minute mark Philip incorrectly dismisses the point as wrong that the WHO has said that processed meat is carcinogenic and shuts down the topic in a skilful way and moves the conversation on, the fact is that the WHO said processed meat is classified as Group1carcinogenic to humans. Which means that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer.  Shortly after dismissing the point that processed meats are a group 1 carcinogenic, Philip talks about cooking the same cancer causing processed meat in the form of sausages and feeding this group 1 carcinogenic food to his kids and he found that he had so much craving for the sausages that he had to leave the room cause he would have started to fight with his kids to take them from them, this is, of course, a reminder as to how addictive processed food can be when it is formulated by food scientist whose job it is to design the food so as it can trigger the same "pleasure centres" in the brain that drive people to drug addiction , this addiction results in higher sales and he is giving this same food to his kids, in truth such foods should be labelled like cigarettes as a group 1 carcinogenic which does cause cancer. Then an anthropologist is wheeled out who says there is evidence we have been eating meat for over 2 million years.There is no consensus among anthropologists as to how much meat we ate. But the meat was and is not our best source of food, we have not evolved nor god did not design us as efficient hunters. We don't have the sense of smell true hunters have to detect prey, nor do we have the speed to outrun most prey ,however we do have the brains to set traps for animals and even then we don't have the teeth or the claws to rip the skin off an animal when we trap it. Our taste buds don't like the taste of meat unless we cook it and add plants to flavour it. Our stomachs acid is weaker than animals that eat meat and also our intestines are much more suited to digest plants rather than animals and lighting a fire in wet and windy conditions cant have been easy. At one point in the program a deer and a duck are killed and this anthropologist is shown cutting open the duck with a flint its is quite gory and Philip get involved in the preparation of the animal food getting his hands covered in blood it was good to see this shown on TV so as the public can see where animal food comes from. I did find it strange the Philip who was been fully vegan for the month seemed to enjoy playing the caveman cutting open a freshly killed duck with a piece of flint. For me it was hard to look at.I did note that the method and act of killing the animals was not discussed or shown on TV ,it rarely is shown on TV. Philip then says he felt that he was doing his health some serious damage and he is weak and depressed then he went back to Aveen to get a report some before and after measurements, Aveen reports a loss of “a good 2 Kg of muscle “ however the report on the screen shows a 1.9Kg loss rather than “a good 2 Kg” going from 65Kg to 63.1Kg . Reading from the report that was visible on the screen Philips weight went from 86.6Kg to 81.6Kg, however, the weight loss of 5Kg is never quantified on the show I had to stop the film and read off the values. The fat mass fell from 18.2Kg to 15.2Kg .The % body fat fell from 21.0% to 18.6% so the healthy loss of fat is glossed over and the loss of 5Kg on the vegan diet glossed over. In one interview aired before the program Philip says "What we did when I did the Vegan diet, as we did in all the other fad diets that I had done previously, was that I went for a raft of check-ups. They took so much blood out of me that I was like a pin cushion. I had various scans for my bone density and my muscle disposition and so on so that we would have a really reliable 'before and after'. "We were able to monitor, in minute detail, what happened to me and a lot happened to me in a very short space of time." "I'm not some dietary or biological freak - I'm pretty much an everyman. So if it's happening to me, it's happening to anybody else who tries to take on this diet."  There are no mention of his cholesterol or any blood results been mentioned in the program what happened to the results? Was his blood pressure measured before and after and during the diet , these are two things that you would expect to improve with a whole plant food diet. Was he monitored during the 4 week period by a doctor and if not why not? And if he was why was the results not published. Aveen also pointed out that the food intake was over 600 calories short every day this appears to have been Aveen responsibility to ensure that Philip was asked to consume the right amount of food, she also blamed his tiredness on a lack of B12 and vitamin D , why were these levels not checked as a matter of health and safety before an employee of RTE was asked to embark on this diet. Philip also claimed on the Ray Darcy show that he lost 3% of his bone density while on the programme Aveen said he lost 2% of his bone mass. The scales used to do the checking is only consistent under ideal conditions and a 2% error is within the margin of error see more on this topic below. Also the Tanita range of body fat monitors are not as accurate as the DEXA which I would like to point out thanks to the excellent work of the University of Washington osteoporosis specialist, Dr. Susan Ott, we now know that the common bone density test is rather imprecise and large changes in density are needed to assure that bone loss is indeed occurring, much less significant in nature. A thoughtful scientist, Dr. Ott had 300 patients get two bone density measurements: one when they came into the room, and the second after walking around the room for a while. With this simple experiment, she showed that repeat measurements on the same day may show as much as 7% difference in bone mineral density. Breaking down the data she found that while a 4-6% change in bone mineral density indicates a “probably change” it takes more than a 6% change to fully guarantee a statistically significant change in bone density. The Better Bones perspective on bone density testing: Bone density testing can be useful, especially when spaced over many years, but small changes are not significant. Tanitas website also give warnings on how inaccuracy can creep in.  : How accurate and reliable are Tanita's Body Fat Monitor/Scales? A: Independent research at several major universities (including Columbia University in New York City) has confirmed that in clinical settings, the Tanita Body Fat Monitor is accurate within +/- 5 percentage of the institutional standard of body composition analysis--Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). It should be made clear that there is only one method of calculating body composition that is close to 100% accurate, and that is an autopsy. Tanita believes its method to be the most convenient and accessible to accurately predict body composition. Tanita's Body Fat Monitor Series results are repeatable to within +/- 1 percent variation when used under consistent conditions. Hydration fluctuations which may result from alcohol or food consumption, sleep, intense exercise, medication or pre-menstruation.
  • A very full bladder.
  • Severe calluses on heels or soles of feet (about 1/400 people tested).
  • Unclean foot pads may interfere with conductivity.
  •  The Tanita Body Fat Monitor/Scales use state of the art technology, BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis). This method of body fat analysis is very accurate and easy to use; however, changes in hydration levels can affect readings. If your body is dehydrated, you will likely experience a higher than normal reading. If you are over-hydrated, you could experience a slightly lower reading. To obtain the greatest accuracy and repeatability from our product, Tanita suggests the following protocol.
  • Take readings at least 3 hours after rising, eating a large meal, or exercising.
  • Take readings once a week at the same time of day under the same conditions. (Note: Taking readings more than once per week is not beneficial since body fat does not change from day to day.)
  • Average your readings for the month.
  • Compare averages from month to month.
So perhaps all the fuss about a drastic change in bone density may be a false alarm. Have a look at these videos about  how much protein we need

a

The Full CNN video called “The last heart attack  ”  J. Morris Hicks – The 4Leaf Solution  The Edge – Eat to Beat Cancer and the Importance of Cancer Prevention  Bill Clinton: Fan of Caldwell Esselstyn Jr MD  James Cameron On The Vegan Solution  John McDougall, MD — The Ultimate Diet Therapy  Dr. John McDougall: Pregnancy and Children  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC185fvVQTQ John McDougall MD discusses what dairy products have going for them. They are a great source of nutrition — for getting fat and growing tumors ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC185fvVQTQ 5 Reasons to stop drinking MILK [warning graphic]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z04QX7zyt-8&list=PLfwAZJk9JCq1UwDBuCIQ79J7R9fNdpAz4

Philip Boucher-Hayes says vegan diet did not work

What Are You Eating? returns for a new series. This season presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes takes on the challenge of trying the now very fashionable vegan diet for a month.

Watch the programme live tonight or on RTE player https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/

Just heard Philip Boucher Hayes talk about the shocking side effects of a vegan diet he lost 2% of his bone density while on the diet and he was really concerned about protein deficiency and describe it as a fad diet.

Philip says he came into this with an open mind but he needs to do some more research before he makes his mind up and concludes that this diet is dangerous for him on the basis that he lost 2% of his bone density in 28 days.

A basic google search on this shows up the following  results

1

https://www.betterbones.com/testing/how-accurate-is-a-dexa-bone-density-test/

I would like to point out thanks to the excellent work of the University of Washington osteoporosis specialist, Dr. Susan Ott, we now know that the common bone density test is rather imprecise and large changes in density are needed to assure that bone loss is indeed occurring, much less significant in nature. A thoughtful scientist, Dr. Ott had 300 patients get two bone density measurements: one when they came into the room, and the second after walking around the room for a while. With this simple experiment, she showed that repeat measurements on the same day may show as much as 7% difference in bone mineral density. Breaking down the data she found that while a 4-6% change in bone mineral density indicates a “probably change” it takes more than a 6% change to fully guarantee a statistically significant change in bone density.The Better Bones perspective on bone density testing: Bone density testing can be useful, especially when spaced over many years, but small changes are not significant.

2

https://elainemansfield.com/nutrition-and-exercise/bone-health/my-experience-with-dexa-scan-accuracy/

Bone density testing on the same machine and operator, same time of day, 2 weeks apart, gave a range from -1.5 to -5.7% difference one year and +1.2 to -4.8% the next. An article in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported 4% variation in bone scans taken within 7 days, so these findings might be common if women were to do repeat testing. (Neither dexa scan operator had ever done a repeat test, so they were both surprised by the discrepancy in the results.) For individual results as opposed to a group study where individual variations are averaged, I’ll look for long-term trends of 6-7% change over a number of years before celebrating or lamenting dexa scan results. (Y. Lu, T. Fuerst, S. Hui and H.K. Genant, Standardization of Bone Mineral Density at Femoral Neck, Trochanter and Ward’s Triangle, Osteoporos Int (2001) 12:438-444. and Hui, SL, et al. Universal Standardization of Bone Density Measurements: A Method with Optimal Properties for Calibration Among Several Instruments. J Bone Mineral Research 1997; 12:1463-70.)

 

Some more reading on osteopeniaon

https://www.npr.org/2009/12/21/121609815/how-a-bone-disease-grew-to-fit-the-prescription

Now regarding Philips worry about protein deficiency from eating a plant-based diet I will quote some information on this from Dr John McDougall

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

 

Since plants are made up of structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins.  In fact, so rich are plants that they can meet the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows.  You would be correct to deduce that the protein needs of relatively small humans can easily be met by plants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that men and women obtain 5% of their calories as protein.  This would mean 38 grams of protein for a man burning 3000 calories a day and 29 grams for a woman using 2300 calories a day.  This quantity of protein is impossible to avoid when daily calorie needs are met by unrefined starches and vegetables. For example, rice alone would provide 71 grams of highly useable protein and white potatoes would provide 64 grams of protein.8 Our greatest time of growth—thus, the time of our greatest need for protein—is during our first 2 years of life—we double in size. At this vigorous developmental stage, our ideal food is human milk, which is 5% protein.  Compare this need to food choices that should be made as adults—when we are not growing. Rice is 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%.8  Thus protein deficiency is impossible when calorie needs are met by eating unprocessed starches and vegetables.

The healthy active lives of hundreds of millions of people labouring in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on diets with less than half the amount of protein eaten by Americans and Europeans prove that the popular understanding of our protein needs is seriously flawed.

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2017nl/jul/simple.htm

Consuming animal flesh does add more protein to your body, however, this excess is unnecessary because protein deficiency is unknown, and in today’s world, diseases of protein excess (like osteoporosis, kidney stones, kidney and liver damage) are universal among my patients. And yes, consuming mammalian milk does add more calcium to the diet, but this is also superfluous because calcium deficiency is unknown and milk is a leading cause of heart disease, obesity, and inflammatory arthritis.

The above information leaves me in very little doubt that the only supplements a person needs on a whole food plant-based diet are B12 and vitamin D if you are not getting it from the sun.

 

 

Philip was worried about the fact that the vegan milk he was drinking had 10 times less protein than cows milk, perhaps he should be more worried about the fact that cows milk is for calves and has 2.5 times more protein per calorie than mothers breast milk.If he is going to consume milk on its % protein then he should consume rats milk as it has 10 times the protein of mothers milk and it’s no coincidence that calves grow at 2.5 times the rate of babies and rats grow at 10 times the rate of babies.

I was surprised that a person who is informed of the dangers of processed food should be feeding his kids sausages knowing that such processed food without any doubt has been proven to increase you or your kid’s risk of getting cancer as has been said many times meat is the new tobacco.

 

Also, I would like to point out that we did not eat that much meat in olden times in Ireland here are some references to back up that fact

“Meat was very seldom used. Bacon was also little used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4493809/4422992/4538994

“People scarcely eat any meat long ago”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4701759/4700149/4727427

“Meat was very seldom used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044696/5032683/5145137

“Meat in those days was a luxury, and was rarely used.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428089/4377425/4435063

“Meat was not eaten often.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4672090/4669212/4678736

“The people did not eat meat very often”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428260/4389305/4477472

“Butchers meat was unknown.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4498381/4384175/4509548

“Meat was not often used at the meals.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5009118/4988357/5123542

“The people used eat hardly any meat atall.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427872/4353047/4437698

“Seldom meat was used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427886/4354421

“Meat was not eaten in those days.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427905/4356858/4450848

“Meat was also used sometimes salt and sometimes fresh”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4498681/4385561/4509807

“Meat was not used often in those days.
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4758450/4744921/4759242

“Meat was seldom eaten.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4770055/4769845/5017507

“Then they used to start lamenting because they wouldn’t have tea or meat for the rest of the year and they used to say :- An dha lá deag is mó creach ceat Nodlag.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4922265/4865515/5054752

“Meat was seldom eaten.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044844/5043782/5096051

“Meat was seldom eaten any time the had meat, bacon they had.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4583289/4576811/4587051

“They did not eat much meat.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427891/4354834/4446440

“Most of the people did not know the taste of meat.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4602758/4601737/4633915

“They would get no eggs only at Easter and they hardly ever had meat.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4436845/4384493/4440680

“Meat was very seldom used.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428021/4368745/4474361

“Meat only was eaten by the rich people.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428269/4390251/4479166

“Meat was eaten only at Christmas”
http://w520894ww.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4493667/4409404/4

“Meat was not eaten so often as it is eaten now.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427887/4354540/4551479

“Very little meat was eaten and it was not until American bacon was introduced to the country that people ever knew the taste of flesh meat.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4602728/4598766

“Meat was very scarce”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4921948/4912500/4934637

“There was very little meat eaten.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5009163/4993196/5103510

“people would not get meat from one end of the year to the other”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044711/5033589/5135897

“Meat was very seldom used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4798779/4798000/5150887

“Meat was very seldom used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4758566/4755212/4926586

“Meat was not eaten often,”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427887/4354467/4551166

“This was a rare treat as seldom or ever they had meat”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4798669/4788843/4823750

“Meat was very seldom used”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044696/5032696/5145177

“Meat was rarely eaten”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4602702/4596808/4631948

“It was on very rare occasions that meat was eaten”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4427938/4359265/4455893

“Meat was almost unknown there except in the house of one farmer named Power who used to cook meat once in a while for himself only.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428164/4382845/4447763

“Meat was not eaten often.”
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4498008/4345343/4500942

 

And at the end of the program, it turns out that he was eating 600 calories less each day this is because whole plant food is less calorie dense so you have to eat much bigger portions of it.

If Commercials Were Honest

If Commercials Were Honest – Honest Ads

Here is a playlist of ads that I found interesting

Is farmed salmon junk food?

I recently went to Lidl for my 88 year old mother to purchase her favourite salmon fillets.To those of you who dont know who Lidl is, it is a German-based global discount supermarket chain with over 10,000 stores in Europe and it is now expanding into the United States.

Lidl’s motto is “Lidl surprises”

Well I certainly was surprised to notice the difference between the wild salmon and the farmed salmon, however I dont think these difference are unique to Lidl, both the wild and the farmed salmon happens to be supplied by the same supplier  Ocean Sea and both have the same size portion of 125g so it was easy to compare the nutritional labels.

A 125g portion of wild salmon contains about half the calories of the farmed salmon.

A 125g portion of farmed salmon contains 19 times more fat than the wild salmon.

A 125g portion of farmed salmon contains 9 times more saturated fat than the wild salmon.

And finally, the farmed salmon costs more than twice the price of the wild salmon,  €4.85  for 4 X 125 g portions of wild salmon while €4.99 for 2 X 125 g portions of farmed salmon, prices as of Dec 2017.

These nutritional differences are easily explained by the food that the farmed salmon are fed, which is typically a mixture of pellets made from the flesh of smaller fish, corn gluten, ground-up feathers,  chicken fat, soybeans, genetically engineered yeast and food colouring pigmentation. Pigmenting supplements are the most expensive component of the farmed salmon diet, it costs a lot of money to make the farmed salmon look the same colour as wild salmon.The purpose of the food is to get the farmed salmon as big as possible in the shortest possible time as cheaply as possible.

To combat diseases from overcrowding, fish farmers douse their salmon with tons of antibiotics and pesticides which ends up in the food chain.So if you are eating farmed salmon dont think it is the same food as wild salmon.

I once asked my mother to try the wild salmon from Lidl and she said it tasted terrible and not to buy it anymore. This was not a surprise as when you get used to fatty foods like full-fat milk then low-fat milk tastes inferior.

Compare a fillet of farmed salmon from Lidl to a cheeseburger from Mcdonalds.The salmon has over 58% more fat than the cheeseburger at 19g v 12g, or we can put this a different way, about one-third of the calories from a McDonald’s cheeseburger comes from fat while about two-thirds of the calories in a farmed salmon fillet comes from fat.

It is a good idea to fully research your salmon (or any food)before you eat it. What we do know is that contamination such as mercury and PCBs in fish  is proven to affect everybody and in particular babies and young children, the risks are so high that even  fish that are within  the permitted levels of  mercury and PCB’s for the general public have a special warning, if your planning on having a baby, if your pregnant, if your breastfeeding your child, you need to be extra careful about the food you eat as many foods that is perfectly legal to sell can damage  your baby.

My own personal view is that if the food you eat affects the development of young children then perhaps it best to avoid that food. let’s choose the foods with the least health, environment and animal cruelty issues and choose the foods with the most health benefits which in my view would be a plant-based diet.

I took a visit down to Aldi and looked at the farmed Salmon for sale and it was pretty much the same fat content, they had no wild salmon on the day I looked.

Check this link as to what foods mainstream government says to avoid if you want to have a healthy baby .

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx#close 

 

Safefood Ireland says a plant based diet is not a reasonable option

 

I was listening to Pat Kenny on Newstalk on the 21st of November and I heard a spokesperson from Safefood.eu giving some advice about the food we eat. I would take issue with what the spokesperson had to say when asked would a plant-based or vegan diet have health benefits. Hear what the spokesperson had to say in this clip.

Pat Kenny asks the question “Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton recently went vegan as has other big name athletes have, what do you think of a plant based or vegan diet as a health benefit”  ” well we are talking here about individual celebrity’s and this is another big issue from our perspective in that  a If you have enough money and organizational skills it is possible to get your nutritional adequate diet with a vegan or vegetarian diet for most of us who live ordinary lives that don’t have 2 or 3 PA’s and a butlers and cooks no it is not a reasonable option ”

The reality is that most  experts are finally taking on board the large body of scientific evidence that a whole food plant based vegan diet is not only a viable option for people of any age,  but that eating minimally processed or whole plant foods instead of animal-derived foods can confer lots of  health benefits, such as reduction in heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many types of cancers not to mention the benefits to the  environment, the reduction in exposure to antibiotics in the food chain, and the reduction in the consumption of heavy metals from fish.

What I would like Safefood.eu to do is to use its considerable expertise and resources to provide sample menus and advice for people who live ordinary lives that don’t have 2 or 3 PA’s and  butlers and cooks who wish to improve their health by eliminating animal products from their diet and save the ordinary people from the dangers of a plant-based diet.

Safefood has two versions of advice for people living in Ireland, for people in the north of Ireland, we have the Eatwell Guide and people in the South of Ireland we have the Food Pyramid. Adults and kids in the North of Ireland are allowed to have dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)  while adults and kids in the South of Ireland need up to five servings Milk, yoghurt and cheese to keep kids bones healthy. Seemly dairy alternatives are not safe for people from the South of Ireland ( must be genetic ) according to Safefood.eu and their stakeholders.Both the Eatwell Guide and the Food Pyramid are both influenced by  forces that don’t have peoples health as the number one priority, but at least the Eatwell Guide gives people the option of dairy alternatives while the Food Pyramid guide does not offer this choice to the public.

We are so lucky in Ireland to have a strong dairy industry  that keep us aware of how vital drinking milk is to our bone health and  supplying us only with the best of fresh milk, I feel so sorry for the 1 billion  or more people in India and all the Asians who have never been properly educated by the farming lobby as to how important drinking milk as kids and as adults is to protects their bones, we need 5 or more portions of dairy per day for our teenagers to stop them getting osteoporosis in later life. Because of our culture of drinking plenty milk, you rarely see old people in Ireland suffering from osteoporosis. Hopefully, we can export plenty of powdered milk to these country’s to stop the epidemic of osteoporosis that is striking all these Asian folk down in their prime of life, so sad to see whole country’s uneducated to the value of milk.

If you wish to contact safefood.eu on the dangers of whole food vegan diets please use this email info@safefood.eu

 

Here is the full segment of the program from Newstalk select the Pat Kenny show end of part 2 to hear the full conversation.

http://www.newstalk.com/listen_back/13240/40613/21st_November_2017_-_The_Pat_Kenny_Show_Part_2/

Review of Diet and Nutrition booklet

After recently reading the Diet and Nutrition booklet which was published by the UK MS Society in August 2016, I was unhappy with the some of the contents and as the MS Society invited “ideas or feedback about our information? We’d love to hear your thoughts “.  I decided to give some feedback on the booklet.What started out to be a few sentences ended up been much longer than I anticipated. I hope my comments do not offend anybody within the MS Society as I know there are a lot of very dedicated workers and volunteers working within the MS Society but as I feel the information is biased and potentially  dangerous I felt had no option but to give my feedback.My feedback comes in two parts, part one, the evidence that convinces me that a Swank Diet works and I speculate why this evidence is not contained in the booklet, the second part of the feedback is some quotations from the booklet and why I disagree with them.While there are lots of good advice in the booklet, it’s my opinion that some of the advice is wrong and the booklet is biased against a Swank type diet.This bias I believe will needlessly sentence some people with MS to entirely avoidable disability, wheelchair use and early death.The booklet claims to examine the evidence for several different diets for people with MS. I am not familiar with some of these diets so I will restrict my comments to what I would call a Swank type diet which is the most credible diet for MS, with the most studies and the longest track record of success for people with MS.

This publication is a missed opportunity to encourage people with MS to explore the evidence that a Swank type diet can help to stop or slow down the progression of MS, improve their general health and reduce fatigue. The Swank diet is a cost-free, negative side-effect free with a claimed success rate of  95% for those people who change their diet in the early stages of the disease. Why not encourage people with MS  to switch to a low fat Swank type diet with safeguards in place, instead of the current situation where they begrudgingly give limited support to this type of diet and actively discourage people from making the change to a Swank type diet by exaggeration every possible negative issue, downplaying its positive results, even raising non-existent issues with the diet and publishing incorrect information about how the food you eat affects people with MS.

It appears to me that mainstream MS societies talk up the benefits of drugs and downplay the positive effects the Swank diet has on the health of people with MS.Dr Swank’s diet has been used successfully by thousands of people with MS for almost 70 years. During this time he published a number of papers. In 1990 he published a paper in the Lancet journal detailing disease progression for people with MS.

144 multiple sclerosis patients took a low-fat diet for 34 years. For each of three categories of neurological disability (minimum, moderate, severe) patients who adhered to the prescribed diet (≤20 g fat/day) showed significantly less deterioration and much lower death rates than did those who consumed more fat than prescribed (>20 g fat/day). The greatest benefit was seen in those with minimum disability at the start of the trial; in this group, when those who died from non-MS diseases were excluded from the analysis, 95% survived and remained physically active.

In the last few years, we are seeing more research saying how important diversity of bacteria in the gut is and how certain bacteria are associated with certain autoimmune diseases like MS.It appears that people who eat exclusively plant-based foods or mostly plant-based foods have the best type of bacteria in their gut.The gut contains approximately 70% of our immune system, it looks like Dr Swank had the right idea in 1949 when he proposed that people with MS should restrict the amount of saturated fat from animal sources.

There are several variations of the Swank diet currently being promoted and it has evolved as more research becomes available but the basics are the same eat as little saturated fat from animal sources as possible every day.

Below are some YouTube videos that give some background information on the Swank Diet.

See this video by Prof Jelinek on the Swank diet.

Prof. Jelinek discusses Prof. Roy Swank’s revolution

 

Linda Bloom Watch Her Inspirational Story

 

Doctors discuss Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis on ABC TV Australia

 

 

Rebecca no longer suffers from MS

 

 

Here is a video of Dr Swank in 1990 with Dr McDougall outlining his research

 

Video of Dr Swank

Here is a video of Dr Roy Swank in 1989 on youtube.

Dr Swank Video

 

Here is a comment on the video from a youtube user.“This makes me very angry.  I was diagnosed with MS in 2000 and this option of diet was not even mumbled in my presence.  I went on copaxone in 2006 and went off of it in 2010.  Trouble with affording the stuff.  I had a whopper of an exacerbation this year.  Lost my vision, my hearing and could hardly walk.  It was terrifying to say the least.  Since then I discovered Dr. Roy Swank and his work and have been a low fat vegan for the last six months.   I began to see improvement almost immediately.   I have my sight back as well and my hearing and walking is much much improved, almost normal.  I haven’t felt this good in years.   What makes me angry is all of this could have been avoided if the diet was held out to me in the beginning.”

Here is a presentation on nutrition that was given by  Dr Conor Kerley at a conference organised by MS Ireland in 2016,

I really like this presentation as is has a surprising twist to it towards the end of the video.

 

If you look at the what been happening over the last 70 years or so you have a group of people who have been successfully using and promoting a Swank type diet, a diet where you can buy all the foods for the diet in your local shop without any prescriptions or extra expense, these folk claim great results  for the vast majority of users.Eating a Swank type diet does not stop you from taking MS drugs , but many people report great results from the diet alone.

On the other side, we have the Pharmaceutical industry who are only interested in profit and who as a group of industries have a very bad track record where truth, patient safety and honesty are concerned, see this Wiki Article on what the pharmaceutical companies get up to. Criminal Off-label promotion, failure to disclose safety data, paying kickbacks to physicians, making false and misleading statements concerning the safety of drugs.

Because natural healing methods like a Swank diet cannot be patented by them, the pharmaceutical industry has done its sinister best to confuse and distort and undermine any information reaching the public that might reduce drug sales and profits.

In partnership with the pharmaceutical sector, we have most of the established MS societies, governments, dietetic associations and the medical profession.The pharmaceutical industries have decided that it is in their shareholders best interests to give out lots of cash through various schemes to these partners, in return they can influence how the medical profession treats MS patients and influence what information the MS societies gives its members.Year after year billions is spent lobbying governments, media, doctors, consultants and any organizations that are willing to let themselves to be influenced to deliver the message and promote the agenda of the pharmaceutical companies.Researching and developing new drugs is very expensive yet pharmaceutical companies spend more on lobbying and advertising than they do on research.

The current drugs for MS are not very effective, on average they work for much less than 50% for the people who take them, some drugs only work for as little as 5%  the people who take them. What this means in practice is that most people who take the MS drugs get no benefit from them, with many getting only harmful side effects.The side effects are so bad that some of the drugs have had to be removed from the marketplace because of the harm they were doing to the patients.

If you have any doubt about how effective the drugs are look up the manufacturer’s published data on NNT or number needed to treat for all the leading MS drugs, these numbers are so bad Pharmaceutical companies and most doctors and consultants don’t like to discuss them with the patients.

If you have not heard of NNT, it is a way of understanding how much modern medicine has to offer individual patients. It is a simple statistical concept called the “Number-Needed-to-Treat”, or for short the ‘NNT’. The NNT offers a measurement of the impact of a medicine or therapy by estimating the number of patients that need to be treated in order to have an impact on one person. The concept is statistical, but intuitive, for we know that not everyone is helped by a medicine or intervention — some benefit, some are harmed, and some are unaffected. The NNT is the average number of patients who need to be treated to prevent one additional bad outcome.

Some NNT’s for MS drugs the NNT may vary from study to study.

Avonex 7.7  , Betaseron 10.0, Copaxone 33.3, Rebif 9.1, Tysabri 8.4 ocrelizumab 20

It seems crazy that drugs that are ineffective for most of the people who take them could cost so much, but that is simply the truth. Most MS patients have not heard of NNT see this link for some information. http://www.thennt.com/thennt-explained/

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international not-for-profit organization that encourages informed decisions about healthcare and is designed to provide realistic expectations about what a drug might do for patients. According to their reviews, medications used for multiple sclerosis are mostly not very ineffective.

glatiramer acetate (Copaxone ®

Or look at this link when an MS professor  is asked about NNT

 

 

While MS patients may not know about NNT, they do know that when a person is diagnosed with MS that it is not good news, the reason it is not good news is that there are no effective drugs available for the treatment of MS.

Don’t think it is just MS drugs that are not very effective, see This Article in Nature “ Every day, millions of people are taking medications that will not help them. The top ten highest-grossing drugs in the United States help between 1 in 25 and 1 in 4 of the people who take them (see ‘Imprecision medicine’). For some drugs, such as statins — routinely used to lower cholesterol — as few as 1 in 50 may benefit  .

If more people were aware of how useless some drugs that they take are then perhaps many people will stop taking them and perhaps switch to a lifestyle change like better food.

The pharmaceutical industry’s, doctors, surgeons, pharmacies, hospitals and the consultants, all would suffer financially if people followed Hippocrates advice “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.There is a huge financial incentive to encourage people to eat and continue eating the wrong foods and continue to try and diagnose and fix the problems with scans, surgery and hi-tech drugs, drugs that ideally for them, you take for the rest of your life.

When a person with MS decides to follow a treatment they and their doctors must weigh the benefits of the treatment with the potentially harmful side effects. The Swank diet offers many benefits with little or no risk of harmful consequences.

Here is some information from a web site (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) that makes the case in favour of a Swank type diet better than I can. This site claims it is a completely independent and unbiased charitable organization ‒” we do not accept any financial or ‘in kind’ support from pharmaceutical or other 3rd party companies.”

Several long-term studies show a close connection between saturated fats and the development and progression of MS. People with MS who avoid saturated fats (such as meat or dairy fat) but consume unsaturated fats (such as those from fish and flax) typically have reduced progression of the disease – and in many cases experience minimal effects from it.

The most important research on this topic is by Professor Roy Laver Swank, of the Swank Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in Portland, Oregon. He initially found that MS followed the consumption of saturated fat and was lower among people who ate fish (which is rich in omega-3 fats). This led to a compelling 34-year, 150-patient study that began in 1949. Published in The Lancet in 1990, it showed that people who adhered to a diet very low in saturated fats had dramatically better health outcomes than those who did not.”

 

Who Can you trust, look up any of the top MS drugs and you will find most if not all of them are made by companies that have a history of corporate fraud. And don’t think that the crimes that the pharmaceutical industry commits are always found out I suspect that they get away with much more fraud than they are actually caught for.

Here are some examples of Pharmaceutical companies who make top MS drugs and the fines they have paid for illegal activity.

 

Gilenya (fingolimod)

Federal Officials announced recently that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation will have to pay a $422.5 million-dollar fine for advertising a medicine for epilepsy intended for inappropriate uses and for paying illegal fees to hospitals and private doctors to prescribe these medicines to their patients.Here

Novartis is fined $49 million for paying bribes as a result of bribing doctors from 2011 to 2016  Full story here

NEW YORK—The U.S. Justice Department fined Swiss drugmaker Novartis $390 million for granting kickbacks to pharmacies that recommended the company’s drugs, according to an agreement announced Friday. Full story here  

Sanof Avonex (interferon beta-1a)

Slapped with €28M bribery fine for former German employees’ scheme

Full story here

Teva fined $519 million by US government for foreign bribes

Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)Full story here

Lawsuit Filed by Shareholder Over Biogen Ignoring Safety Signals with

Tecifidera by  Biogen Idec (who also manufactures Avonex and Tysabri)

Full story here

Biogen’s Zinbryta multiple sclerosis drug has suffered a serious setback after European regulators restricted its use because of liver safety concerns.

Full story here

I have yet to find a Pharmaceutical company that I can fully trust and typically you won’t find much details of the crooked behavior of the Pharmaceutical companies on your favorite  national registered charity website, nor will you find much negative comments about the price of drugs.These charities seem to have an over optimistic view of the Pharma companies, lobbying the government to fast track approval for the latest drugs ,lobbying the government to approve drugs that don’t work very well,  same thing happens with Cancer drugs money wasted on drugs that mostly dont work while a simple change of diet can work better than drugs in many cases.

MS patients are encouraged to take MS drugs as early as possible.They are put on one drug for a number of months or years and monitored to see how they get on, if it appears to work,  with side effects that can be tolerated they are left on the drug perhaps for life.If the patient is not happy on the drug or if the drug is recalled or gets some bad press they may be switched onto a different drug, or perhaps the consultant or doctor has just been convinced by the Pharmaceutical company after coming back from some conference paid for by  the drug company that the latest drug is so much better and it’s time for a change to the latest drug as perhaps the old drug is now generic and not as profitable as before.Patients can spend years been switched from one drug to another all the time not realising that the drugs for most people are not very effective and the Swank diet is rarely mentioned and often dismissed as a treatment.

So now that I have given you a flavor or the information that I think should have been included in the booklet about the Swank type diet I will give some examples of information in the booklet that I think needs to be changed.

Here are some quotes from this publication that I take issue with.

 

“Some people with MS say that following a specific diet has made a difference to how they feel. Perhaps they have less relapses or it improves their overall quality of life. But other people don’t feel this way, and there is little evidence that special diets are a good way to manage your MS”.

It is misleading to say that there is little evidence that special diets are a good way to manage your MS, not only do people manage MS with diet, a lot of people have totally stopped MS progressing with diet alone. Users of a Swank type diet would say that it has better results than the leadingMS drugs.

 

“Aim for a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of different foods that contain the five major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals with enough fluids.”

“The NHS website has an ‘Eatwell plate’ – a diagram which shows the different portions recommended by the government to balance these food groups so that you get the nutrients you need.  “

There are no studies that show that people with MS can safely eat all the same food as the general population eats, in fact, the general population in the UK and elsewhere who use the Eatwell plate are not doing great health-wise, with many people with common illnesses that are caused by the food they are eating, yet these same people are eating or feel they are eating by the guidelines outlined in the Eatwell plate.

The Eatwell plate and similar food pyramids are widely accepted as a compromise between the food industry interests and the public’s best interest. Referring people with MS to an Eatwell plate for guidance on what foods to eat may well be sending people with MS to avoidable disability, wheelchair use and early death.People with MS don’t need to be referred to compromised eating guidelines designed for the general public, these eating guidelines are not optimised for a tiny subset of people suffering from an autoimmune type disease.

Even the Eatwell plate website says “Anyone under medical supervision or with special dietary needs might want to check with their GP, or a registered dietitian, to be clear about whether or not the Eatwell Guide is suitable for them.”  So to be referred to an Eatwell plate by an organisation that you trust for health advice may prove disastrous for you.

Healthy lifestyle choices and independent advice free from the influence of the food industry and the pharmaceutical companies are central to better health outcomes for everybody.

“What we know about diet in general shows that it’s important to get a balanced nutritional intake, instead of avoiding certain foods.”

This is simply not true, everybody is in favour of getting the correct nutritional intake, however, countless studies have been done that prove most of the world’s population are lactose intolerant so all those people should avoid dairy, as should people who suffer from MS as demonstrated by Dr Roy Swank. So avoiding dairy, gluten, processed meat or perhaps other food types can make life-saving changes to lots of people, so make sure you avoid certain foods particularly foods high in saturated fat if you have MS.

“When I heard diet could help with MS symptoms I assumed that this would be a ‘special’, unusual and probably expensive diet. But the reality was just to eat good nutritious food and include lots of vegetables. With this in mind, we get a weekly veg box delivered to make sure we have a supply of fresh produce to cook with. “

This excerpt is potentially very misleading, all of the diets that make credible claims for good outcomes for MS patients say that what you don’t eat is vital, it’s not as simple as getting a weekly veg box delivered and just continue to eat what you considered good nutritious food.The Swank diet and most other MS diets call for a super low-fat diet; Swank demonstrated that vast majority of MS patients who kept their saturated fat intake to 20 grammes or less a day no longer showed the expected disease progression.

According to Dr Swank’s research to give yourself the best chance of stopping MS  the food you fuel your body with must be very low in saturated fat. This means eating lots of starches, vegetables, and fruits and most importantly avoiding all dairy products, meat, most processed foods and minimise the use of all cooking oils with perhaps the addition of some fish or flax seed.

“Eating is more than just something we need to do. It’s something to be enjoyed – it can be a fun social activity, a cultural experience and something to make you feel good. “

“Can you still enjoy your food? Food is about more than just making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Can you still eat your favourite foods while following the diet? If you enjoy eating meals with others – perhaps at home, in restaurants or at other people’s houses – will you still be able to do so?”

“Are you getting enough energy from the diet? If you have increased energy needs – for example, because of constant tremor or because you are underweight – then if you limit the kind of food you eat you may find you lose weight and become malnourished.”

MS is a disease with many debilitating side effects. Disease progression varies greatly from person to person and supporters of Swank type diets say for the majority of people with MS disease progression can be greatly slowed down or stopped if you change your diet.

So the suggestion that eating food should be something to be enjoyed, a fun social activity, a cultural experience, can you still eat your favourite food, can you enjoy eating with others in restaurants or in other people’s homes and food is much more than just making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs.This gives the impression that people who switch to a Swank or similar diet are most lightly to have a very negative experience with their diet, missing out on fun social activities, not able to enjoy eating meals with others and no longer able to eat their favourite food. This does not have to be the case and not changing your diet because you might miss your “favourite food” is very bad advice, as is focusing on the enjoyment of food that you eat. The most enjoyable and favourite foods people eat are usually processed foods that are carefully formulated with added fat, sugar, salt, oils, preservatives, colours, additives, etc. These foods are designed to be very tasty and addictive, often with misleading packaging or health claims so as the customer will keep buying the product, and it quickly becomes one of your favorite foods, so not been able to continue eating your favorite food on a diet that might just stop your MS progressing, should be a reason not to try a Swank type diet.

“Food is about more than just making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs”

If you have as serious illness such as MS  and the balance of evidence suggest that if you avoid certain common foods (meat & dairy) and replace them with other common foods ( fruit, veg, starches, beans, fish) that you could stop or slow down  the progression of MS as was demonstrated by Dr Swank, then it is a small price to pay to dramatically increase your odds of avoiding early death or disability and avoid other known illness associated the over consumption  of the same foods. A lot of people have developed a culture of bad eating habits, let’s go and get some fast food after a night out, let’s barbeque some hotdogs and other processed food to celebrate the special occasion, so missing out on an unhealthy cultural experience or a fun social activity that could be promoting the progression of MS may actually be a good thing. Don’t use this as a reason not to change your diet.

“Cutting down on meat and dairy products to reduce your saturated fat intake might mean you’re not getting enough protein, so you would need to find alternative sources such as fish, beans and pulses.”

Let’s not scare people from cutting down or eliminating meat or dairy as required on a Swank type diet by suggesting that they could be short of protein, Hospitals are full of sick people with a wide range of diseases, many of them related to poor dietary choices. I have yet to hear of anybody been in hospital suffering from a protein deficiency from eating a Swank diet or any other diet, however, some people are in hospital with anorexia which is a shortage of calories not a shortage of protein.

At our greatest rate of growth during our first four months of life, a baby doubles in size, the ideal food is breast milk, which has only 6% of its calories coming from protein. Contrast this level of protein with the protein in plants; rice has  8% of its calories from protein, potato 11%, porridge 11%, and beans 22%.  When you eat enough calories from a whole food plant based diet, it is almost impossible to design a diet that would leave you deficient in protein and protein deficiency is not a problem with the general public.

“Ready meals can be a practical alternative. However, they can be low in protein and high in salt so they may not be suitable for every day. Choose ones labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘healthy eating’ unless you are underweight.”

Ready meals are the easy option in terms of convenience, but for your health and well-being they are with very few exceptions not suitable for getting the correct nutrition your body needs.If an MS patient was to switch to ready made meals or continue regularly eating them on the advice of this publication because they were labelled “low fat “or “healthy eating” the consequences could be dire.Regularly eating ready meals, bought in your supermarket is almost certainly going to make things worse and the advice   “Choose ones labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘healthy eating’ ” is just inviting trouble. For the UK MS Society to suggest to people with MS that ready made meals may be a practical alternative as long as they are labelled low fat or healthy eating is in my view irresponsible and demonstrates how little attention is placed on the correct nutrition for MS patients by the UK MS Society. You really need to understand the labels on the food you are eating, fully understanding food labels and how food manufacturers set out to deceive people is not easy.The best advice is to ignore what is on the front of the packet and look carefully at the ingredients.

 

“Food allergy – we talk about food allergy when your immune system reacts to a certain types of foods such as shellfish or nuts and you start wheezing, itching and breaking out in a rash.”

 

Milk would rank above shellfish in food allergies, why not call out cow’s milk as a problem food as it one of the most problematic foods for people, milk ranks as the #1 self-reported food allergen and the majority of people in the world cannot fully digest milk due to lactose intolerance.

Most of the credible MS diets call for dairy to be eliminated from the diet.The big food lobby works hard to promote milk, it is marketed as a good source of calcium, however, the cultures throughout the world that don’t drink milk have much fewer bone diseases so drinking milk is not required for good bone health.

“This diet (Swank) can be low in energy, which may make you lose weight. If you have high energy needs or if you are already underweight then it may not be suitable for you

I would disagree with this statement there are many successful vegan athletes who have finished best in the world when eating a vegan diet, a diet that would also meet the Swank criteria for an MS patient and they certainly had high energy needs, to name a few. Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Carl Lewis all who have met their energy needs on a diet that would comply with Swank’s key guidelines for a low saturated fat diet.

This bias against a Swank diet is not just restricted to one MS site I noticed another  MS site ( mstrust.org.uk) asked the question “ Will the diet be worse than the symptoms that it might alleviate – for example, will it stop you eating all the foods you enjoy, or make going out for meals or eating with family or friends difficult?”

How could a Swank diet be worse than the symptoms of MS?  Users of the Swank diet have demonstrated fantastic results with the reduction of symptoms of MS and they would be unlikely to welcome the return of the symptoms of MS for any reason,and to discourage people from trying a Swank diet by comparing the minor difficulties encountered when eating out with family or friends to the horrible difficulties from the side effects of MS makes no sense, there is no comparison between the two.

Ignorance Sickens and Kills People, if the UK’s largest MS Societies are not giving the best nutritional advice to its members, this misinformation may cause disastrous outcomes for some of it members, who perhaps would have changed their diet if they were made aware of the correct information. If multiple sclerosis symptoms can be often resolved by a Swank type diet then this information should be made clear to everybody and people should be encouraged and supported to change their diet.

People have choices in life and people make choices that suit them, smoking is bad for you yet people continue to smoke, but it took years before this was accepted by the medical profession mostly due to misinformation by the tobacco industry.I believe that the Swank type diet is the best diet for people with MS but due to misinformation, the medical profession does not fully endorse this protocol as a treatment with or without the use of drugs for people with MS.People with MS are free to eat whatever food they wish, but can the MS experts at least tell people with MS, that the balance of evidence says that claims of the Swank diet are most likely to be true and a properly thought out Swank diet is safe to eat and it will in most cases improve your health. So instead of discouraging people from making the change,  can all the MS experts encourage people to at least consider trying the diet.

The Swank low-fat diet is not really a diet; it’s a lifestyle change and with the worldwide movement toward whole foods, plant-based eating, and a huge increase in people eating vegetarian and vegan, it’s now much easier to eat a Swank type diet at home or in restaurants.

I think the time has come for all MS societies to clearly communicate the proven benefits for MS patients of a Swank type diet to its members and to the staff who deal with the public, so as when members of the public ask about nutrition and MS they can get a balanced and accurate information rather than been told a Swank diet is a fad diet, which is what I was told some months back.