The Whole Pantry by Belle Gibson has been pulled from the shelves and now Pete Evan’s Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddles has also been. It is a worrying trend that is continuing to grow with media personalities offering up nutritional advice for medical cures when many of these people lack the certified training and education.
While there are many recipe books launched each year that don’t follow the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines, it’s authors writing about foods that will cure everything from cancer to autism that is making dietitians see red!
Pete Evans’, the famed My Kitchen Rules judge, controversial DIY infant formula based on liver, cod liver oil and a bone broth has ingredients 700% higher than that of breast milk. This has the potential to be very harmful to infants and newborns and in some cases, particularly with newborns; this formula could cause permanent damage and possibly result in death. The author, Evans, who has no nutritional training other than a $5000 online course from a private clinic called Integrative Nutrition, co-authored the book with an actress and a naturopath, none of which have any of the correct nutritional or medical training.
Belle Gibson, the now former director of The Whole Pantry App and Website and whose claims of once having cancer have now come into questions, also has no medical training but her app, offering nutritional advice, has been downloaded more then 300,000 times, fooling many of her followers. Its incredibly sad how many people are easily being taken for granted, and how people like Belle Gibson are willing to persuade and manipulate people into believing what they’re selling.
As dietitians we are not plumbers, or lawyers and you wouldn’t want our advice on either topic. Why do individuals consistently take advice from people without the correct accreditation? As these individuals have a high media profile & we see and hear from them so often, do we feel that we know and trust them? While most of these people mean well, the constant commentary from these individuals who lack the education and accreditation has created a sense of confusion amongst consumers and has serious potential to cause more harm then good. When reading advice about nutrition for medical matters, always check the credentials of the author. Unfortunately there are numerous scammers in the world who are always trying to find ways to lure you in.
When looking for expert nutritional advice, look for the Accredited Practising Dietitian logo, as it is the only national accreditation that is recognized by the Australian government and Medicare.
By Julie Gilbert, Accredited Practising Dietitian
Julie Gilbert is the Founder and Head Dietician for Solutions with Food. Having started Solutions with Food in 2004 by herself, Julie has used her knowledge & experience from over 10 years of work in the industry to now manage and run Solutions with Food into a company full of dedicated dietitians aiming to help all of its clients achieve their desired outcomes.