The latest food programme to hit our screens is The Food Hospital. We have a GP, a consultant and excitingly a dietitian aiming to treat conditions with food alone. It’s been in a prime time slot, Tuesday evenings on Channel 4 and seems to be attracting quite a lot of attention. I know in “dietitian-land” there has been a lot of support for Lucy Jones, the dietitian who is bravely in the limelight and there has also been a lot of chatter after the show about the conditions covered. See here for an exclusive interview with Lucy Jones: http://www.bda.uk.com/news/111101FoodHospitalInterview.html
The show has been promoting the use of evidence-based scientific research when treating conditions, rather than a faddy diet or an unresearched food. Because of the pace of the show and the type of show it is there hasn’t always been time to explain each condition and treatment in great depth, however the show does seem to have sparked a big interest in nutrition as a form of treatment.
Last night we saw Rianna being treated for Alopecia, it was her IBS that was targeted, the hypothesis being her IBS was causing her body extra stress which could be contributing to her Alopecia. A special probiotic supplement was prescribed (not the same as buying a probiotic yoghurt drink) and this seemed to have remarkable effects and it was exciting to see some hair regrowth occurring.
The previous week Chris, a man with Type 2 diabetes was put onto an 800kcal diet plan. Unsurprisingly he lost weight, a total of 2.5 stone in 6 weeks. Although usually as dietitian’s we would be advising people to lose weight slowly and to stick to a healthy eating plan that contains a lot more calories than this, this was all done under medical supervision. The evidence for this type of diet is new and experimental still, further research is needed. A small study on 11 people was carried out in Newcastle using a 600kcal diet plan showed pancreatic cells function went back to normal and a possibly reversal of diabetes.
I’d love to see this show follow some of these people up later down the line and compare their symptoms then. What I think I’d like to highlight is the fact that some of the research used is new and still in preliminary stages. The show could encourage people to go off and try some of these dietary regimes out for themselves, which would be potentially dangerous. If you feel you have a condition that could be treated by diet then please do get in contact me. I’d love to chat. I’d also love to hear your views on The Food Hospital, leave me a comment below or tweet me 🙂