Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gillian McKeith "PhD": join the party

Yesterday I took my own institution to task for offering disgraceful, unjustifiable 'degrees' in 'Complementary Health' - fraud at its worst.

So I should point you in the direction of Shitwoman, aka "Dr" Gillian McKeith "PhD". I worked hard for my PhD. In return for several years of pain and misery, I get to inflict the same on my students until I'm sacked. McKeith, on the other hand, bought her PhD from an unaccredited correspondence course woo-monger in the US (now closed) with a piece of work which references only weirdo magazines rather than, y'know, scientific research: Ben Goldacre bought the same membership for his dead cat.

She claims, amongst other things, that you can have "too little" DNA which can be fixed with dietary changes, and that eating chlorophyll will oxygenate your guts (chlorophyll produces oxygen in leaves when light strikes them). Not much light up my bottom, and any leaves I've eaten are definitely dead.

Shitty Gill's "PhD" got her a range of nonsense food products and a disgusting Channel 4 program in which she shouted at fat poor people.

that’s the most sinister feature of the whole nutritionist project, graphically exemplified by McKeith: it’s a manifesto of rightwing individualism – you are what you eat, and people die young because they deserve it. They choose death, through ignorance and laziness, but you choose life, fresh fish, olive oil, and that’s why you’re healthy. You’re going to see 78. You deserve it. Not like them.
But genuine public health interventions to address the real social and lifestyle causes of disease are far less lucrative, and far less of a spectacle, than anything a food crank or a TV producer would ever dream of dipping into. What prime-time TV series looks at food deserts created by giant supermarket chains, the very companies with which stellar media nutritionists so often have lucrative commercial contracts? What show deals with social inequality driving health inequality? Where’s the human interest in prohibiting the promotion of bad foods; facilitating access to nutrient-rich foods with taxation; or maintaining a clear labelling system? Where is the spectacle in “enabling environments” that naturally promote exercise, or urban planning that prioritises cyclists, pedestrians and public transport over the car? Or reducing the ever-increasing inequality between senior executive and shop-floor pay?

Then the Advertising Standards Authority told her to drop "Dr" from her products, and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority made her withdraw her 'sex pills' as illegal. She lied about the reasons for their withdrawal (no pun intended) in the press. Read the whole hilariously depressing story (including the cat) here.

Why am I bothering with her now? Because she's been bullying someone on Twitter and calling Ben Goldacre a liar. I hope he sees her in court and I'll donate to his legal fees gladly.

No comments: