In the News – Archive

In the News – All Posts

Each month we scour the newspapers, magazines and online journals to bring you a summary of the latest nutrition news, health views and recipes that you might otherwise have missed. Plenty of links allow you to catch up on the articles that interest you. Also, this is where we put random bits of stuff that appear on the TV and Radio.


Thinking of going vegan or avoiding red meat? Read this first… (8/19/2017) - This article was originally going to be part of the July 2017 News Round-Up, but there were so many news items about veganism that month that I decided to give it it’s own post and include more commentary. Vegan diets … Continue reading
JULY 2017 MEGA News Round-Up (8/1/2017) - Let food be thy medicine; Grow your own microbiome; Cod: back on the menu, then off again; Bog butter - it's a thing; Bring back the bear, wolf and lynx. or not; Plus a bit o' bitter news. Continue reading
June 2017 News Round-Up (7/2/2017) - Mistrust of medical research; Diet and Bowel cancer; Infant growth; Sleep health; Sunscreen problems; Coffee and the liver; Fungi in the home Continue reading
May News Round-Up (6/1/2017) - Cancer & sugar; Bone broth for skin; Tree nuts, not peanuts; Cinnamon for fat reduction; Pasta sales down; Cheese is good; More protein for elderly; Cauliflower recipes Continue reading
Gluten-free diet MAY be unhealthy and MAY increase risk of heart attack (or not) (5/12/2017) - Fake news; alternative facts; plus a dose of healthy skepticism. We take a look behind the recent gluten headlines. Continue reading
April News Round-up (5/1/2017) - Great British Beef Week; Ketogenic diet in diabetes; Low fat foods cause weight gain; Sat fat spat; The perfect cuppa; Health benefits of cheese Continue reading
March News Round-Up (4/1/2017) - Happy Easter! Ten reasons chocolate is good for you. Getting your 10-a-day. Fish oils and vitamin D for kid's brain health. Continue reading
February News Round-Up (3/1/2017) - Arsenic, asthma, bison, sleep, coeliac, mercury, chocolate, PPIs, BPA, mammoths - We join the dots - PLUS: Mummy Mouse and Baby Mouse special Continue reading
2017 January News Round-Up (2/4/2017) - Had enough of experts? Judge their latest pontifications for yourself: chopping boards, statins, roast potatoes, high fat diets and metabolic syndrome, eggs and brain health. Continue reading
December News Round-Up (1/1/2017) - HAPPY NEW YEAR! This month's nutrition news is shoe-horned into a Christmas theme, and it's just about bursting at the seams with festive good news! Continue reading
Featured news site: NewsMedical.Net (12/7/2016) - A useful site packed with thousands of health articles, news and medical science. Here are 7 interesting stories I found. Continue reading
November News Round-Up (12/3/2016) - Parkinson's may start in the gut. Your calf muscle may stop you losing weight (!) Plus coffee, aspartame, vitamin D, high-fat running and the importance of cooking. Continue reading
October News Round-Up (10/31/2016) - Lots of interesting items that are in the news this month inc 8 on vitamin D! Continue reading
Hold fire on the Sea Bass recipe! (Retraction and Apology) (10/15/2016) - Breaking news: Scientists say Wild Sea Bass stocks are dangerously low. DO NOT EAT SEA BASS - use one of these sustainable alternatives Continue reading
September News Round-Up (10/1/2016) - Full fat cheese good for heart health, Pharmaceuticals in our water supply, Body clock and cancer, Meat and fish in pregnancy protect infant from eczema. Continue reading
August News Round-Up (9/2/2016) - We serve up a plate of top nutrition news, and finish with a knickerbocker-glory of articles from our guest publication: New Scientist magazine. Continue reading
July News Round-Up (8/3/2016) - Sleep and health: inflammation and ‘intestinal jet-lag’ The Mail (6th July) explains why ‘Too little and too much sleep is as damaging to your health’. Dr Irwin concluded: ‘Together with diet and physical activity, sleep health represents a third component … Continue reading
June news roundup (7/2/2016) - Toxins in food linked to autism; emulsifiers & artificial sweeteners in obesity; Coffee good for liver; Butter off the hook; Dr Mosley sees the light; Gluten psychosis; Dangers of vitamin pills Continue reading
The Microbiome on BBC Radio 4 (7/2/2016) - Listen again to these two excellent radio broadcasts from BBC Food Programme on the micobiome. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Continue reading
May News Round-Up (6/1/2016) - Nutrition controversies: high blood pressure linked to potatoes, salt exonerated, low-carb diets for diabetes challenged. Medical errors: a leading cause of death Continue reading
April News Round-Up (5/2/2016) - Latest research on Vitamin D, fructose and paleo diet. Bone broth, pastured livestock and mis-shapen veggies. Fermented foods: good for gut diversity. Continue reading
March News Round-Up (4/2/2016) - Health benefits of rosemary, blueberries, coffee and organic eggs. Vegetarian populations at increased cancer risk from vegetable oils. Calls to extend sugar tax. Fish recipes. Continue reading
February News Round-Up (2/28/2016) - Government announces eggs are safe (phew!) even emu eggs (?) Plus the ketogenic diet in cancer, seafood in APOE4 Alzheimer's and vitamin D in prostate cancer. Continue reading
January News Round-Up (1/30/2016) - A host of new year diet stories - low fat v high fat; saturated fat v sugar; factors affecting the microbiome; nightshade foods Continue reading
December News Round-Up (1/2/2016) - Out with the old, in with the new. Quote of the year. A cheesy joke. Salt and the dietary recommendations golem. Continue reading
November News Round-Up (11/30/2015) - Gluten-free diet helps healthy volunteers; Pastured meat for conservation; Ketogenic diet; Vitamin D; Meat and cancer 'false alarm' Continue reading
October News Round-Up (11/2/2015) - Raw milk safe; Grass-fed beef best; Ethical seafood increases; Artificial light upsets genes; Mediterranean diet benefits; Cutting sugar improves health fast; Red meat & cancer Continue reading
September News Round-Up (10/1/2015) - Knepp rewilding project in the news, and their beef is now available to order. Plus... Fish reduces depressions, apple skins prevent age related muscle loss (!?) and sugar wars hot up. Continue reading
“Scientists claim Paleo diet is nonsense” is nonsense (9/19/2015) - Did our brains evolve on a high-carb diet of spuds? or are the newspapers turning our heads to mash? We respond to misleading headlines. Continue reading
August News Round-Up (8/31/2015) - Gluten-free junk food on NHS; Jamie Oliver calls for sugar tax; Butter better than margarine; Fish oils for schizophrenia; Vit-D and MS Continue reading
Goodwood Wins Cheese Award (8/13/2015) - Goodwood gain 'Best Organic Cheese' and a gold medal for their organic Charlton Farmhouse cheese. Continue reading
July News Round-Up (7/30/2015) - Cod stocks recover. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy. Cauliflower rice. Sugar - the public health debate. Continue reading
June news roundup (6/30/2015) - Trans-fat ban. Berries for obesity. Diet at conception alters genes for life. Antibiotics cause obesity. Paleo recipes. Zero carb. Continue reading
VIDEO: Harvard Scientist Supports U-Turn on Dietary Fats (6/26/2015) - It looks like 40 years of advice to limit fat consumption to less than 30% of calories has been quietly retired! A Harvard scientist explains why it's a good move. Continue reading
May News Round-Up (5/31/2015) - Vitamin D deficiency in sunny climes, Dark chocolate helps weight loss, Salt does not raise BP Continue reading
April News Round-Up (4/29/2015) - Cheese keeps French hearts healthy; Eggs reduce diabetes risk; lack of sun in UK kids; Organic farming sequesters carbon Continue reading
March News Round-Up (3/31/2015) - Herbal Medicine under threat; BBC make good on sugar documentary; Eat fat get thin. Continue reading
Reducing sugary drinks improves kids’ livers in just ten days (3/11/2015) - New study showed rapid liver improvement when sugary drinks removed from children's diets. (INFOGRAPHIC) Continue reading
February News Round-Up (3/8/2015) - Bone broth in New York fashion week; Why national fat guidelines were wrong; NICE recommends more sun exposure Continue reading
NY Times: “Can Celiac Disease Affect the Brain?” (10/17/2014) - This is a great article looking at the links between gluten and brain disorders. Recommended! Continue reading
Brain-Damaged UK Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine to Get £60 Million Compensation (3/3/2014) - Patients who suffered brain damage as a result of taking a swine flu vaccine are to receive multi-million-pound payouts from the UK government… The Pandemrix vaccine was manufactured by pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo Smith Kline, which refused to supply governments unless … Continue reading
Sugar on Trial on Trial (2/2/2014) - When it comes to nutrition it seems once again that TV's mantra is "Never let facts get in the way of a good story" Continue reading
The Now Show – Sugar Lobby sketch (1/25/2014) - Radio 4's The Now Show, poke fun at Big-Sugar's lobbying of Government food policy... Brilliant! Give it a listen! Continue reading
Afifah’s Radio 4 Rant Captures Public Imagination (1/19/2014) - I didn’t phone in to Any Answers to talk about cancer, but at the mention of that word I was phased out and cut off. I was going to make a different contribution to the subject of the food industry but Julian Worricker posed a specific … Continue reading
Desertification – Agriculture’s Inevitable Destination? (12/6/2013) - research from the University of Colorado shows how soil microbes have been decimated by agriculture. Continue reading
New study vindicates Weston A Price (10/20/2013) - Scientists identify Price's 'Displacing Foods of Commerce' as ideal for inducing full-blown metabolic syndrome in rats. Continue reading
Calorie Counting vs Meal Timing (8/31/2013) - Why a high protein breakfast might work better than calorie counting. Continue reading
MRSA linked to anti-biotic use in farm animals (7/6/2013) - People who work with livestock on modern industrial farms have a much higher incidence of harbouring methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) Continue reading
Saturated Fat Exonerated (5/30/2013) - Latest scientific review admits 'we got it wrong' Continue reading
Andrew Wakefield on The Welsh Measles Outbreak – in his own words. (4/28/2013) - Discredited villain speaks out. Don't listen to him. Continue reading
Bang goes the BBC’s credibility: Sugar on trial? (4/4/2013) - How low can infotainment sink. Science took a back seat in this BBC 'documentary' Continue reading
The book of the week on radio 4 (3/19/2013) - Listen Again on the BBC radio player to The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond. Continue reading
In the press – full fat milk less fattening than skimmed (3/18/2013) - Skimmed milk 'doesn't stop toddlers getting fat': Children who drink whole milk actually gain fewer pounds - Daily Mail Continue reading
Mouth Microbes – Diet and Dentists (2/21/2013) - Ed Yong reports on a series of experiments carried out in the last few years where scientists have studied the oral microbes preserved in plaque on the teeth of archaeological skulls. Continue reading
Man the Hunter (11/15/2012) - About 2 million year's ago the human brain began an exponential growth in size, unparalleled in the animal kingdom. What propelled this remarkable development? Continue reading
Listen to lard (11/4/2012) - Today's Food Programme on Radio 4 was all about lard! Includes interviews with Stephanie Seneff and Gary Taubes. Continue reading

Recent Posts

Thinking of going vegan or avoiding red meat? Read this first…

Influential celebrity promotion is fuelling a rise in vegan diets, but can this ideologically driven movement really be healthy? Above: Keeping up with the Kardashians star Kylie Jenner, and footballer Jermain Defoe, both champion the vegan diet. Perhaps they should stick to what they’re good at.

This article was originally going to be part of the July 2017 News Round-Up, but there were so many news items about veganism that month that I decided to give it it’s own post and include more commentary.

Vegan diets are suddenly being promoted by every celebrity and her dog. Another major recruiting factor is a sensational documentary out on Netflix “What the Health” which is pumping the anti-meat message hard. Fortunately, Vox (Jul 26th) takes the film’s twisted message to task and untangles the facts brilliantly (Thank you Julia Belluz for doing such a good job – now I don’t have to!) “Debunking What the Health, the buzzy new documentary that wants you to be vegan” Julia Belluz, Vox – Highly recommended. Others are challenging the films objectivity too:

“films like this are sensationalised pieces of idealism, minus the practical strategies”

Susie Burrell, Nutritionist, news.com.au (Jul 26th)

Closer to home, a UK nutrition professor caused an angry twitter storm for her comments on live TV. “It’s really hard work to make a vegan diet healthy,” said Sophie Medlin, RD, a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at King’s College in London, during a BBC segment on the rise of veganism. (Health.com Jul 27th)

“You have to think very carefully about what you’re eating all the time. I have never recommended any of my patients follow a vegan diet; I can’t see myself ever changing that. It’s very complicated to make sure your diet is safe and gives you all the nutrition you need.”

I couldn’t agree more, and find it a little surprising that other nutritionists took issue with this statement (for example, Abby Langer in Flare, July 27th). After all, there is no reason to think that a vegan diet is healthier per-se, unless you buy into the kind of pseudo scientific propaganda portrayed in What the Health. Unfortunately most vegans do.

Perhaps we should look to India – a country with a tradition of vegetarianism – to see what is happening there. This month, the Indian Dietetics Association has warned that vegetarian diets are failing to meet protein requirements for no less than 90% of the population! (India TV, Jul 19th).

“Proteins from different sources complement each other. Even with a ratio of 5:1 cereals and pulses combination, the protein quality in terms of digestibility and bio-availability is only around 65 per cent when compared to milk protein,”

B. Sesikeran, pathologist,,India TV, Jul 19th

Another Indian news outlet, ran the story of a vegetarian who returned to meat eating after 6 years (The Times of India, Jul 7th), using bone broth and chicken to correct deficiencies in B12, calcium and Vitamin D.

Back in June this year, newspapers ran a story about a remote Indian tribe that had been studied for two years. Despite having no access to junk food, living a very active lifestyle, and consuming a vegetarian diet they suffered from high blood pressure. (Daily Mail, Jun 30th) Contrast that with the report in March, about an Amazonian tribe that had the healthiest cardiovascular system ever studied, yet their diet contains 14% animal protein. (Treehugger.com, Mar 27th). With all of this evidence stacking up against it, the vegan theory of health has got some explaining to do.

Stories like these support Sophie Medlins statement that vegan diets are hard to get right. However, that does not deter the vegan adherents who took to twitter to condemn her, and seem not be interested in the facts about nutrition. Fundamentally, the raison d’être of veganism is an absolute belief in animal rights, which is an ethical or political ideology first, and merely co-opts nutrition as an attempt at justification. Vegan dogma comes with a kind of spiritual superiority, as anyone will tell you who has met a vegan proselytiser (and let’s be honest, have you met a vegan who isn’t one?)

Such ideological thinking can lead to even more extreme positions such as a fruitarian diets in which only fruit is eaten. Such diets lead to many health problems, including reduced growth, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, dental erosion, pancreatic and kidney problems, mental instability and diabetes. (See Dr Axe, Fruitarian Diet: Are All-Fruit Diets Dangerous to Your Health?) One blogger, in The Metro (Jul 24th) warns how her obsession with a semi-raw food /  fruitarian / vegan diet wrecked her health. She is now sounding the warnings about the fanatical aspects of veganism.

Vegan junk food

As far as health goes it’s possible to eat junk whichever dietary path you choose. So, as The Independent (Jul 17th) reported this month, a recent study that found that some vegetarian diets can increase the risk of heart disease, especially if they are high in sugar, crisps, chips, alcohol and refined carbs – all of which are plant based, and thus ostensibly vegan.

Interestingly, in this analysis of the Nurses Health Study data, even those who ate a significant proportion of their diet from the ‘vegetarian’ category also ate meat regularly, so they were not vegetarian in the accepted sense of the term, even though these data are used by some to promote such a diet pattern.

Meanwhile scientists in the UK are recommending women eat more, not less, red meat to prevent iron deficiency anaemia. This comes on the back of the latest UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey which found that more than a quarter of women (27%) aged 19 to 64 don’t get enough iron. To make things worse this vulnerable group is the one most likely to have reduced their meat consumption, and the one most likely to be influenced by celebrity endorsements for the vegan lifestyle. The issues around this are laid out very well in Net Doctor, Jul 11th.

Vegan diets are not better for the planet

Vegan politics finds much support from the Greens: “BUT A VEGAN DIET IS MORE SUSTAINABLE FOR THE PLANET?” sympathisers cry in desperation, as they wave their fists at meat eaters.

Well, no. Not according to a new study which found that the carrying capacity—the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources of an ecosystem—for the vegan diet is lower than both versions of a vegetarian diets (dairy/egg) and two out of the four omnivorous diets they studied. (Health Freedom Alliance, Jul 26th), because it failed to use areas of land that are only suitable for rearing animals and not crops.

For more on this topic: See our posts showing that neither UK nor Australian vegetarians actually live longer, and that dairy is the most sustainable farming system in temperate countries, yes really!

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