A big nutrition story hit the headlines this week, an expose on nutritional therapists. It makes for a very interesting and scary read…
Medical experts were sent undercover as patients to 15 nutritional therapists. The results were worrying. About half of the nutritional therapists gave advice that could have endangered the health of the patient. Shockingly one patient was advised to put off radiotherapy for her cancer and use diet alone to rid the body of cancer, completely unproven to work. Other symptoms described by patients highlighted potential serious illnesses and these were not picked up by the therapists. Non-evidenced based tests were used to diagnose illnesses (hoolding liquids in your mouth, iris patterns)
The full article can be seen here: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2012/01/nutritional-therapists-gambling-with-your-health-276653/
What this highlights is the need to always check that your nutrition professional is kosher. Nutritional therapists are NOT the same as dietitians. Dietitians have a title that is legally protected, they must hold a dietetic qualification and will have undergone at least 3 years of training. You can check that your dietitian is who they say they are by looking them up on the Health Professionals Council website. Registered nutritionists should also have at least a degree in nutrition and be registered with Nutrition Society. Anyone else may not be giving out evidenced based, safe advice.
Here is a link to a great leaflet on the different types of nutrition professionals that may help you: http://www.bda.uk.com/publications/dietitian-nutritionist2010.pdf